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Full text of "Nineteen years in Polynesia: missionary life, travels, and researches in the islands of the Pacific"

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[The Right of Translation is Resew.l.l 


Having, in the good providence of God, returned 
on a visit to my native land, after an absence of 
twenty years, as an ambassador of the British 
Churches to the heathen, it is natural and right to 
inquire where I have been, what I have seen and 
heard, and what I have done. A reply to such 
questions is the simple design of the following 

Missionary life will here be seen in a variety of 
aspects, and a number of things brought to light 
respecting the manners, customs, and mythology of 
the native tribes of Polynesia, which, it is hoped, 
will prove interesting to the friends of missions, 
and at the same time contribute to the data, after 
which many, at the present day, are in search, in 
studying the comparative history of the human 




Departure from England and Settlement at Tanna . 1 


Labours among the People 11 

Hostilities and Difficulties 17 


Continued Opposition 26 


Council to put us to Death ...... 32 


War Declared 39 

Our Flight 48 

Our Rescue 58 


Tanna and the Tannese 69 




Samoa — Position — Early Visitors — Successful Introduc- 
tion of Christianity 95 


Samoa — Early Hindrances to Christianity . . . 101 


Labours at Safata Ill 

Mission Seminary 124 


Conversions . . . . • 142 


Mission Seminary District 155 


The Press and Translations 167 


Ethnological Papers —Infancy and Childhood . .173 


Adult and Advanced Years 181 


Food— Cooking— Liquors 192 


Clothing 202 

Amusements 210 




Mortality — Longevity — Diseases, etc. .... 219 


Death and Burial 227 


A Future State — Religion, etc 235 

Mythological Traditions 244 

Houses 256 

Canoes 266 

Articles op Manufacture 271 


Government and Laws 279 

Wars 298 


Illustrations of Scripture 310 


Missionary Voyage in 1845 356 




Missionary Voyage in 1848 431 


Missionary Voyage in 1859 473 

Conclusion 533 


Meteorolgical Register for Seven Years . . .537 
Comparative View of the Polynesian Dialects . . 539 

INDEX 541 


At page 169, note, for £a7m'£, read j3airTt^u). 




1. A Samoan Orator .... . Frontispiece. 

2. The Missionary Barque " John Williams " . Vignette. 

3. Natives of Tanna 76 

4. An Assyrian Head 78 

5. A Tannese Girdle 80 

6. A Spear Thrower 81 

7. Spear and Arrow Heads ...... 81 

8. A Tanna Kawas 81 

9. Fight at Tutuila 98 

10. Class-room at Malua, and Cottages of the Students 129 

11. Tutors' Residences at Malua 130 

12. Burying- ground at Malua 132 

13. Tatooers' Instruments 182 

14. Leaf Gtrdles 202 

15. Combs \ . .206 

16. A Woman's Tortoise-shell Bonnet of 1838 . . 207 

17. Native Pillows 216 

18. A Samoan House 259 

19. Inside of a Samoan House 259 

20. Native Adzes 259 

21. A Samoan Travelling Canoe 266 

22. A Samoan Fishing Canoe 266 



23. A Samoan Boat 266 

24. Netting Needles 272 

25. Fishing Nets . . 272 

26. A Pearl-shell Fish-hook 273 

27. A Native Deill 274 

28. A Samoan Fan 275 

29. Samoan Baskets 275 

30. A Spear Barb 276 

31. Samoan Clubs 276 

32. A Samoan Fono, or Parliament . . . .287 

33. Samoan Fly-Flappers 288 

34. Clubs, Stone Adze, Bow and Arrows . . . 312 

35. Pandean Pipe 337 

36. Heathen Phylacteries 338 

37. Stone Idols 346 

38. Map of the New Hebrides 361 

39. Mission Cottage, and Grave of Mrs. Paton . . 480 

40. Scene of the Massacre of Williams and Harris, 

Eromanga 486 




On Monday, the 10th of August, 1840, I received 
my commission from the Directors of the London 
Missionary Society, and on the following day sailed 
from Gravesend. The instructions of the Rev. H. 
Nisbet and myself were, to proceed to Sydney, 
there to join the missionary brig " Camden," and 
to make all practicable haste to commence a mission 
on the island of Tanna, in the New Hebrides. The 
news had just reached England of the massacre of 
the Rev. John Williams and his young friend Mr. 
Harris, on Eromanga. It was quite a shock to 
the country, nay, to the" world, for John Williams 
was known everywhere. Some were for revenge. 
"Blow the island to pieces 1" said they. But others, 
whose zeal was under better guidance, bowed the 
knee, and said, " Father, forgive them ;" and, as they 
prayed for the savages of that distant land, they felt 
persuaded that the blood of our massacred mission- 
aries would yet prove the seed of a mission and 


a church in the New Hebrides, over which earth and 
heaven would rejoice. Our respected Directors were 
foremost amongst the zealous to accomplish this glo- 
rious object, and my brother Msbet and myself were 
hurried off to take up the work, as near as we could 
to the spot where John Williams laid it down. 

The day before Mr. "Williams was killed, he 
landed among the savages of Tanna. Tanna is 
about twenty miles from Eromanga. Standing on 
a hill near the entrance to Port Resolution, on the 
north-east side of Tanna, you look over and see 
Eromanga on your left; Niua and Futuna right 
opposite to you, the one fifteen and the other thirty 
miles distant; and away to the right, about forty 
miles, is the beautiful pear-shaped island of Aneiteum. 
Considering the savage state of the people, Mr. Wil- 
liams had, upon the whole, a good reception when 
he went on shore at Tanna. At one time he was 
alarmed when upwards of a hundred men, with 
clubs, spears, slings, bows and arrows, surrounded 
the boat, and held fast, as if determined not to let 
them away, but, by means of presents, kind forbear- 
ance, and G-od's blessing, all ended well, and three 
Samoans were left to prepare the way for European 
missionaries. At the close of the day, Mr. Williams 
was delighted Avith the success he had experienced 
in being able to effect a landing at all among such 
a people ; but, alas ! the very next day he fell under 
the clubs of the natives on the beach at Eromanga. 

The Eromangans had been cruelly treated by 
some white men in search of sandal- wood not long 


before. Mr. Williams did not know this sufficiently, 
and ventured on shore, in company with his friend 
James Harris. They hoped to have intercourse with 
some of the chiefs, and to arrange for the location of 
teachers, as had been done the day before at Tanna. 
Presently there is a shout, and up start a host of 
savages from behind the bushes, and rush towards 
the strangers, who were walking unsuspiciously along 
at distances from each other. Mr. Harris falls at 
once, and is, clubbed and speared to death. Mr. Wil- 
liams runs, reaches the beach, and rushes into the 
sea. His murderers are at his heels, striking out 
with their clubs. He turns round and faces them in 
the deep water. The first club he turns down, but 
others rush on. He is surrounded, struck, and dives 
to escape the blows ; but all was in vain. God's 
time for his death had come. The waves dashed red 
with blood on the beach, and the missionary career 
of John Williams was at an end. 

The natives tried to get at the boat also, and 
secure some other victims for their savage feast, but 
the crew pulled off, and escaped beyond the reach of 
their arrows and slings. 

This was in November, 1839, and, by the follow- 
ing August, we were on board ship and off to the 
New Hebrides — a proof to these benighted savages 
of the forgiving spirit of Christianity, and of the 
unflinching determination of the friends of the 
Saviour to carry out his dying command, however 
much opposed by Satan and his heathen servants. 

Owing to the great distance, and the difficulty of 


getting vessels to take us from place to place, we did 
not reach our destination till June, 1842. "We picked 
up, however, a good deal of missionary experience at 
Samoa by the way, learned the Samoan dialect, got 
the framework of a weather-boarded cottage made, 
and secured the services of a missionary brother, who 
had been six years in the field, to help us, for a few 
months, at the outset of our work. 

Some shrewd and experienced missionaries rather 
opposed our undertaking, and they were perfectly 
right. They thought it was premature ; that we 
ought to wait a year or two, and see whether Tanna 
was the most favourable spot to commence operations 
among such a savage people ; and they thought, 
moreover, that two missionaries were not sufficient 
to make a commencement at such a group of islands. 
Others, again, cheered us on, and it was our own 
wish to carry out our instructions from the Board in 
London, to go and see and judge for ourselves. We 
thought that if we found our teachers alive, that we 
might live there too. This was all we thought we 
had a right, as missionaries, to require, viz., a fair 
prospect that our lives were safe, and that the people 
did not wish us to go on shore for the mere purpose 
of getting our bodies for a feast on the following day. 

We reached Tanna. Found our Samoan pioneers 
all safe. Bad accounts, however, of the place as 
unhealthy, the people great thieves, and constantly 
at war with neighbouring tribes. We landed freely 
among them. We observed that all went about armed 
with clubs, bows and arrows, spears, and slings, but 


they seemed all so friendly, that we felt quite as safe, 
and as much at home as we should do in some parts 
of the world, where, amid high pretensions to free- 
dom, civilization, and so forth, there is still a great 
attachment to the bowie-knife and the revolver. 
" Why do you carry about your club in that way ?" 
I one day asked a native. "Nothing," said he, 
"just to be ready lest anything should spring up." 
Then there was something so ludicrous in their 
painted faces : one would have the one-half of his 
face smeared with red clay, and the other the plain 
dark copper skin ; another would have the brow 
and cheeks red ; another would have the brow red 
and the cheeks black ; another all the face red, and 
a round, black, glittering spot on the forehead ; and 
another would have his face black all over. The 
black all over, by the way, was the sign of mourning. 
They seemed more like a nation of Merry- Andrews 
than savages, and, as they appeared so friendly, we 
could not help feeling at our ease among them, not- 
withstanding all their display of clubs, spears, bows 
and arrows. As to clothing, of the men I may say 
they had none. " Why do you put that paint on your 
faces ?" we would ask, and presently one would 
smartly reply, " Why do you put these clothes on ? 
This is our way of clothing, that is yours." 

Our hearts yearned with compassion over the 
poor, naked, painted savages ; we thanked G-od that 
the door for our landing among them seemed so wide 
open, and made all haste, with our dear wives, to take 
up our abode on shore. We got six or seven of the 


chiefs together, and had a formal meeting with them. 
They assured us of their anxiety that we should re- 
side among them, and teach them Christianity. They 
pledged themselves to protect us, as far as they could, 
in the event of war with the neighbouring tribes, 
and not to call us to take any part with them in their 
fighting. They seemed willing to say. Yes or No to 
everything, just as they thought it would please us. 
And so we landed and commenced our missionary 
labours at Tanna. 

We had not been twenty-four hours on shore, 
until we found that we were among a set of notori- 
ous thieves, perfect Spartans in the trade, and, like 
the ancient code of Lycurgus, the crime seemed to 
be, not the stealing, but the being found out. The 
teacher's house, in which we took up our temporary 
abode, was but badly shut in, with rough upright 
sticks from the bush, having spaces here and there 
which easily let in a finger or two. Before we got 
all these places filled up, a towel was missed here, a 
comb there, and a pair of scissors in another place. 
Nay, the very bed-quilt was caught one afternoon 
moving off towards a hole, by means of a long stick 
with a hook at the end of it. 

When we spoke to the chiefs about it, begging 
them to make laws ; they would talk loudly, and 
threaten death to the thief if they could only get hold 
of him ; but it was all a joke, the chiefs were as bad 
as any of them. I recollect a fellow storming against a 
thief, and telling us to kill him whenever we got hold 
of him, and, at the very same moment, he slyly picked 


up a big nail with his toes, and slipped it into his 
hand behind his back. We tried to keep things ont 
of the way, overlooked the most of their petty pilfer- 
ing, and cheered ourselves with the thought that the 
day might not be far distant when the Gospel of 
Christ would take root in that truly " virgin soil," 
and in due time bring forth its lovely fruits of honesty 
and righteousness of every kind. 

Mr. Msbet and I, through the kind help of Mr. 
Hardie, in Samoa, took with us the frame and material 
for a sixty feet weather-boarded cottage ; and for 
several weeks our time was principally occupied in 
erecting it. We could get no help from the natives. 
Day after day they crowded about us to see what was 
going on. All was new and wonderful to them, and 
every one seemed to be looking out for something to 
steal. We could hardly lay a tool out of our hands, 
and had to carry our hammer, chisel, gimlet, etc., in 
a belt round the waist. But, with all our care, we 
were often outwitted. 

Many a strange thing happened, while we were 
working at that house. One morning we observed 
that the natives who came about were all extra armed, 
and, by and by, we found that a quarrel was com- 
mencing, and that we were apparently in the very 
midst of a regular native battle. There was first the 
strife of some fifty tongues. Then clubs were up, and 
cracking against each other. Some were tightening 
up their bow-strings, others were fastening on their 
spear-throwers, and we were all anxiety, of course, 
to prevent bloodshed. We ran in among them, sue- 


ceeded in separating some who had come to blows ; 
but no sooner had we separated one party, than 
another were at it. They begged ns to go into the 
house, and let them have out their fight, but we kept 
among them, went from one to another, and, by and 
by, got the mob dispersed and bloodshed prevented. 
It originated in some strangers from a distance, who 
had been stealing from people in the neighbour- 
hood. Observe, their stealing was not confined to 
us. At first we wondered how it was that the women, 
in passing to draw water, or in going to their planta- 
tions, had such burdens on their backs. But soon 
we found out they were obliged to carry about with 
them all their household valuables, even to the brood 
of chickens, lest they should be stolen. 

Another thing happened soon after we landed at 
Tanna, which I shall never forget. Two boats one 
day made their appearance in the bay. They seemed 
shy and suspicious. Presently they spied Mr. Nisbet 
and myself working on the roof of our house, and 
pulled in towards us. Seeing the beach lined with 
armed natives, they were afraid to venture on shore. 
We stepped down to the beach and spoke to them. 
" Are we safe here ?" they shouted out. We replied : 
" Why, yes ; you see that we are all safe. If you 
behave yourselves, you are safe too. But mind, the 
natives are great thieves, and you must keep every- 
thing out of their way, and have no quarrelling with 
them." They immediately went off and brought in 
the vessel to the anchorage. It was the American 
whaling ship "M — z — a," Captain B , of Sag 


Harbour. Next morning, while we were at break- 
fast, two boats pulled in towards our bouse. The 
mate stepped up, and said be wanted to know wbere 
vessels usually got wood and water. I went down 
with bim to tbe beacb, and pointed to tbe place about 
balf a mile along tbe beacb, and again begged bim 
to be careful, and not to be leaving anything exposed, 
as stealing and quarrelling migbt be the consequence. 
About an hour afterwards, we heard a great hooting 
and yelling at the head of the bay where the boats 
were, and on running down to the beach, saw in the 
distance the white men rushing through the surf to 
their boats, and the natives at their heels striking 
out after them with their clubs. In a few seconds 
the boats were clear of the beach, and off to the 
ship ; and, as they seemed to be pulling all oars, we 
concluded they had all escaped. From natives also, 
who came running from the spot, we learned that 
none of the white men were killed. We expected 

that Captain B would have come on shore, and, 

with our help as interpreters, endeavoured to ascer- 
tain whether his men or the natives were most to 
blame. We expected that he had humanity enough 
to guard against anything which would endanger the 
lives of the small party of defenceless missionaries, 
who had braved, and were still braving, all the perils 
arising from their position among such a savage 

people. But instead of this, Captain B acted 

just as one of the worst savages of the New Hebrides 
might do. He immediately looses his sails, weighs 
anchor, and fires in upon villages, about five hundred 


yards from our house — villages far from the place 
where the quarrel originated, and who were perfectly 
free from any concern in it. There were first a num- 
ber of musket-shots, and then, hugging the land as 
closely as he could in sailing out of the harbour, he 
fired several times some large guns. This was an 
hour of no small alarm, and the more so, as reports 
reached us that a chief and some of the people of one 
of the settlements were killed. If this had been the 
case, what could have been expected but that the 

people would arm, imitate Captain B 's example, 

and seek revenge in the massacre of ourselves ? Our 
fears were soon removed, the report was' false, the 
chief and all the people were safe. No thanks to 

Captain B , however. His musket-shots, and 

the slug from his guns, in the shape of old bolts and 
bars, which split trees, and tore up the earth, showed 
what he intended. The people lay down flat on the 
ground, hid behind stones, or fled to a distance. 
Some of them came running, and crouched behind 
our house for safety. We thanked God for our de- 
liverance, and could only think of the conduct of 
Captain B— : — and his crew with abhorrence. We 
felt ashamed, as we listened to the native accounts 
of the immoralities of the party from the boats as 
soon as they got into the bush. Viewing the whole 

case, that visit of Captain B to Tanna in August, 

1842, was a disgrace to his country and colour, and 
needs, I am sure, only to be known in the United 
States, to meet with the universal condemnation 
which it deserves. 




By the end of September we were snugly settled in 
our new cottage, and able to devote our time more 
exclusively to the work upon which our hearts were 
bent. We soon picked up the language, so as to 
conduct religious services without an interpreter, 
arranged the orthography of the dialect, and got 
our little printing-press set up. We composed some 
hymns, and commenced to sing the praises of God at 
our Sabbath services. Schools, too, for the daily 
instruction of the people, were set on foot ; few, how- 
ever, would attend. We found that we had a difficult 
people to deal with. We tried to get some of them 
to come and live with us as servants, but could not 
succeed. They would crowd about, and be ready to 
do any little job, but, in an hour or so, they wished 
payment in the shape of fish-hooks, or strips of print, 
and then must be off to their home again. We got one 
good-natured sort of lad to engage to come regularly 
every day, and rigged him out with some passable 
clothing. Next morning he makes his appearance, 
but in his native costume. We fitted him out again, 
and charged him not to give away his clothing, 
but the next morning he came grinning and smiling, 
just as before, and expecting a fresh set out. But 


this could not be continued, and so we had to 
manage, as best we could, with one or two Samoans 
we had taken with us. 

By giving a prize of some beads to the boy who 
said his lesson best, we for some time got a number 
of them daily to school. Mrs. Msbet and Mrs. 
Turner found it more difficult to get the girls. The 
women are more degraded at Tanna than in some 
other parts of Polynesia. A great deal of plantation 
work, and other drudgery, devolves upon them, 
arising, to a great extent, from the fact that the men 
are almost constantly occupied with war. The ladies 
succeeded, however, in collecting a number of girls 
for instruction ; and here I had better, for a few lines 
on that subject, let Mrs. Turner speak for herself: 
" Finding that the girls had a dread of entering our 
house, Mrs. Msbet and I thought we should try to 
commence school out of doors, hoping that as they 
got better acquainted with us, they would lose their 
fears. We intimated our intention of beginning a 
sewing-school ; so, collecting our materials, took our 
seat under the shade of some trees near the house. 
The first day, only one scholar summoned courage 
to come. We thought that better than none, so, 
having fitted her little finger with a thimble, we 
began to initiate her into the mystery of sewing 
patchwork. Some women gathered round, curious 
to see this new wonder. Little Maui was gravely 
trying to do her best, when the spectators suddenly 
burst out into a laugh, upon which our little pupil 
started up, dashed down her work and thimble, burst 


through the surrounding circle, and fled with the 
speed of a frightened hare, leaving us looking blank 
at the issue of our first attempt at school-keeping. 
The girls soon, however, collected round us, and got 
so fond of needlework, that we were astonished how 
quickly they found out the superiority of a fine 
needle, and would beg for one, saying that the coarse 
needle spoiled their work." 

After the novelty of the first Sabbath or two, 
there was no getting a congregation. The people 
there were of the anti-Sabbatarian class, who wished 
all the advantages of being Christians, without the 
labour — they could not spare the Sabbath at all. 
The festivities and night-dancing connected with the 
yam harvest were hardly over ; the planting season 
was commencing ; another war was threatened by 
some inland tribes, and, somehow or other, Satan 
always managed to persuade them that it was too 
great a sacrifice to give up a day to God so often. 
Besides, they thought that as their own gods (the 
deified spirits of their ancestors) only required 
special prayers and offerings once or twice a-year, 
they might venture to make less than a whole day 
once every seven suffice for this new deity. Like 
the ancient Samaritans, they still held on to their old 
superstitions and spirit worship. They tried various 
schemes to please us, and to satisfy their very slender 
conscience of religious duty. They thought, like 
some more civilized religionists, that a great deal 
might be done by proxy. In reply to the question, 
"Why were you not at the service to-day ?" one 


would say, "Was not my wife there?" or, "Was 
not the chief of our village there ?" or a third would 
reply, " Was not my little boy there ?" It was our 
regular custom, after sermon, to go away for hours, 
among the highways and hedges, villages and planta- 
tions, searching for those who had not been at the 
service. Some would answer as I have just men- 
tioned ; others would say they did not know it was 
the Sabbath, and promise to stop working, but often 
it was only until our back was turned. I went 
round by another road, one day, upon a canoe- 
builder, who had just promised faithfully to drop 
work for the Sabbath, and found him hard at work 
again. He threw down his adze, covered his face 
with his hands, and then looked up and said, in a 
sorrowful whine, that he was very bad, that he 
would now give up work for the day, and not go on 
breaking the Sabbath. Bad as they were in this 
Sabbath-breaking, they were always ready to listen 
to what we had to say, and often, in a plantation, 
have we had preaching and prayer with a group of 
ten or twelve. 

We itinerated, also, during the week, but we 
were never able to go further than four or five miles 
from our house. Soon after we landed, a few came 
from some other tribes to see us, and as we formed 
their acquaintance, our hearts yearned over them 
in their deplorable ignorance. One would say, " I 
am a sacred man ; I made that rain to fall a little 
ago." Another would ask whether we had lived up 
in the skies with God ? who was God's father ? and 


how many children he had ? Or a third, pointing to 
the portrait hanging on the wall, would gravely ask, 
" Is that Jehovah ? " All were glad when we said 
we intended to go and see them, and teach them the 
way to heaven. As soon, therefore, as we got our 
house in order, we were all anxiety to fulfil our 
promises, and visit some of these tribes in midnight 
darkness not many miles from our door. 

But, to our grief and amazement, we found that 
we were hedged in on all sides. After preaching at 
one village, and wishing to go on to the next, a mile 
or so distant, all would forbid it, and say, " No ; you 
must not go there, they will kill you." Seeing us 
determined to proceed, sometimes a few would lift 
their clubs, seize a spear or two, and accompany us, 
evidently thinking that they were risking their lives 
every step they took. At other places no one would 
dare to join in going beyond a certain boundary. 
But on we went, as often alone as otherwise, and, 
generally, the kindness of the hostile tribes was only 
surpassed by their amazement that we had ventured 
so far to see them. We became quite familiar with 
the stereotyped phrase, " Don't go there, they are 
bad people, they will kill you," and seldom paid 
much attention to it. We did not, however, go far ; 
for, in addition to our being all but held fast by the 
people, and prevented, lest we should be killed, we 
found that those tribes, at distances of but four and 
five miles from our house, spoke quite a different 
dialect. In what a melancholy, isolated, hostile 
state these people have been living, all over the 


island, from time immemorial. Seeing our way thus 
blocked up on all sides, we felt more than ever 
that there was an error in commencing such a mis- 
sion with only two. Had there been six, instead of 
two, stationed at distances of ten or twelve miles 
from each other, the one might have worked on to 
the hostile boundary of the other, and, ere long, we 
might have seen the whole island lighted up with 
the glorious gospel of salvation, peace, unity, and 




As we awoke one morning, we heard an nnnsnal stir 
and shouting, and, on looking out, saw the natives 
hurrying past with their clubs and spears, and talk- 
ing about war. Presently we found that a chief in 
the neighbourhood had been killed by a party from 
a tribe a few miles off, who had been lurking about 
for a victim as the signal to renew a former war. 
"We made all haste, and went off too, thinking we 
might possibly be able to mediate, and get the affair 
settled without further bloodshed. We soon reached 
the settlement of the poor man who had just been 
killed, and in the centre of the village there was a 
most affecting scene. The men were all off to the 
battle ; but there were some thirty or forty women, 
with their children, rending the air with the most 
doleful wailing over the dead body of their chief. 
He was laid out on a mat in a reclining posture, 
with his face painted red, and supported in the arms 
of his wife. We expressed our sympathy, felt the 
region of the heart, and found the poor man was 
quite dead. He had a great spear-hole in his left 
cheek, and, as his wife raised a covering which had 
been put on his head, we saw that his skull had 
been beaten in by a club. The women implored us 


not to go further, lest anything should happen to 
us ; but we went on a mile or two, until we were 
close up to the yells and hootings of their savage 
fight. I climbed a tree, and looked ahead a bit, 
but the bush concealed what was going on. Here, 
however, a number of the chiefs came running to us. 
We found that it was vain that day to attempt any 
interview with the enemy, and, at the entreaties of 
our people, returned, lest we should get mixed up 
in the affray, and wounded unintentionally by some 
arrow, or stone from a sling. All that we could do 
was to beg our people only to act on the defensive, 
and pray that God might avert the threatened 
calamity. We knelt down in the bush, and prayed 
with them and for them, that further bloodshed 
might be prevented, bade them good-bye, and then 
returned home to our dear wives, who were waiting 
our arrival with no measured anxiety and suspense. 
For four months this sad war went on, and the 
end of it was, that war was raised against our- 
selves. After they had been fighting for months 
among themselves, contrary to all our entreaties, 
God commenced to punish them with a deadly 
epidemic in the form of dysentery. Just about this 
time we discovered that there was a number of the 
disease-makers, who live near the volcano, delibe- 
rating on our destruction, and seriously wishing to 
kill us. They found, like Demetrius, that their craft 
was in danger ; they were always prowling about on 
the look-out for the skin of a banana, or other refuse 
of food. Anything of that sort they picked up, 


took it home, did it up in a leaf like a cigar, only 
twice as long, and then commenced burning it at 
the one end. They supposed that whenever the 
burning commenced the person to whom it belonged 
took ill, and that if the burning went on until all 
was consumed, the person died. We saw that this 
had a fearful hold on the minds of the people. 
Whenever a person felt ill, a shell was blown, and 
they would keep on blowing it for hours. It was 
meant as a call, or a prayer, to the disease-makers 
to stop burning the rubbish, and a promise that 
parties were getting ready to go off with presents to 
them. Pigs and fine mats would be sent. Some of 
the craft were sure to receive them, and to say, 
" Oh, yes, we know all about it, leave it with us ; 
we will stop the burning, and the sick man shall 
live." If the person died, they concluded that the 
disease-makers were not satisfied with the presents 

This was an immense source of wealth to these 
crafty fellows. Any one can easily imagine their 
rage, when they found that some of the people about 
us when they were ill, instead of blowing the shell 
and sending presents, got a dose of medicine and 
recovered. We did not know that they were seri- 
ously contemplating to put us out of the way, and 
continued going about freely among them. 

One day Mr. Msbet and I, accompanied by a 
Samoan, set out intending to penetrate beyond the 
Volcano Valley, and visit some of the tribes there. 
We could not get a chief, or a native of any kind, 


from our neighbourhood, to go with us. They, as 
usual, entreated us not to go, lest we should be 
killed. We crossed the bay in our canoe, and then 
had only a distance of four miles to go over the 
mountain to the Yolcano Valley. As we passed 
through some of the villages on the mountain, the 
people urged us not to go further. We, at the same 
time, smiled at their fears, and tried to get them to 
join us. We managed to persuade a friendly old 
chief, called Teman, to accompany us ; but he was 
uneasy about it every step of the way, and was 
every now and then bringing up the subject, and 
saying, " Now, don't let us go beyond the moun- 

We got down into the valley, and reached a 
village called Iarofi. At the outskirts of the place, 
Teman took his stand, and would not move a step 
further. Mr. Nisbet and I, accompanied by our 
Samoan, went freely forward, and were presently in 
the midst of their forum, or marum, as they call it, 
viz., an open circular space in every village, where 
the chiefs assemble for business, under the shade of 
a great banian-tree. We found a number of people 
there, and thought they looked shy. We sat down 
beside an old chief, talked with him and the people 
who crowded about, gave a few trifling presents, 
and then got up, saying that we wished to go on a 
village or two further, and that we should call again 
on our way back. On this they were all on their 
feet, and implored us not to go further. Our old 
friend Teman, seeing us sitting quietly in the 


marum and giving them presents, had ventured 
forward, and he, too, was now more urgent than 
ever that we should not go beyond that place. 
Ratobus was the next village, not more than a 
quarter of a mile distant. " Come, come," we said, 
" let us go on to Ratobus. Show us the road ; we 
have friends there who have visited us, and we have 
promised to go and see them." Not one would join 
us; nay, they all but put out their hands to hold 
us back. 

We had only advanced a few steps, when we 
saw a young man about a stonecast ahead of us, 
with a club in the one hand, and waving with the 
other for us to go on ; and calling out, " Come on, 
I will show you the way." We were rather glad to 
fall in with this young fellow, although it turned out 
that he was an enemy. We walked on, and were 
soon in the middle of the marum of Ratobus. 
There we recognized some old faces, who appeared 
glad to see us, but others were dark and shy. We 
sat down on an old canoe which had been turned 
bottom upwards for a seat, and begged them to 
assemble around us, and have a little conversation. 
Some sat down, others stood, and a number re- 
mained in groups in the distance in earnest talk, 
and looking -unfriendly and suspicious. We gave all 
of those around us a small present of a pair of 
scissors, or a few fish-hooks or beads ; tried to tell 
them aboat Christ, and death, and heaven; and 
then wound up all by proposing that we should all 
unite in prayer to the true God. A number of them 


bowed the knee, and I knelt down also, closed my 
eyes, and prayed. While I was addressing them, 
the fellow who showed ns the road slipped round, 
with his club in the one hand and his kawas in the 
other, and took np his position close behind me. I 
did not observe it, but Mr. Msbet was on the watch. 
It went like an arrow to his heart that the fellow 
was bent on mischief, and so he edged ronnd, and 
kept his eye upon him. When I knelt down to 
pray, the fellow threw his kawas on the ground, and 
grasped his club with both hands ; but God had 
more work for me to do, the blow was not struck. 
Humanly speaking, it was Mr. Msbet that saved me, 
and I shall never forget his courageous, God-trusting 
conduct at that awful moment. He showed no 
alarm, but, instead of kneeling down, stood still, 
and stared at the fellow all the time I was praying. 
When I rose from my knees, I heard a gruff voice 
over my shoulder, saying, " Give me some beads for 
showing you the way." " This is an impudent 
fellow," I remarked to Mr. Nisbet, " but we had 
better not have any words with him;" and so I put 
my hand into my pocket, and gave him a few beads. 
We thought there was an unusual shyness among 
the most of the people, and decided not to go any 
further, for that day at least. We told them to come 
and visit us, and hear more about Jesus and the 
way to heaven. Turning into the road, we left the 
village, followed for a little way by a number of the 
more friendly of them. 

At Iarofi, our old chief, Teman, was standing 


anxiously waiting our return. We shook hands with 
several of the people there again, and passed on. 
At the end of the village, whom did I see all on a 
sudden, a little to the left, but the same rough 
fellow who asked for the beads, just going to let fly 
his kawas at my head ! The kawas is a long piece 
of stone, which they throw with deadly precision 
when they are within twenty yards of their victim. 
An old woman rushed at the fellow, and seized him 
by the arm. Good, kind old body ! I recognized 
her as one who seemed unusually friendly with us 
an hour before, and to whom we had given a pair of 
scissors. The fellow had his club in his other hand, 
and was struggling to get away, when a younger 
woman rushed out of a house, and seized his other 
arm. This was all the work of an instant. I made 
a sort of halt. Old Teman darted in between me 
and the fellow, and, in a loud earnest whisper, said, 
" Go on, go on !" Looking over my shoulder, and 
seeing Mr. Nisbet all safe, but a few yards behind, 
and surrounded by some friendly-looking people, I 
thought it best to take old Teman' s advice, and pass 
quietly on, as if nothing had happened. 

As soon as we were clear of the village, and into 
the bush, I said to Mr. Msbet, " Did you see what 
that fellow was after?" "Who?" "The fellow 
who showed us the road, and asked so impudently 
for the beads. Didn't you see them holding him 
there by the side of the road?" A house close by 
the road had concealed this from Mr. Nisbet; but 
now he proceeded to tell me what consternation he 


had been in on account of the very same fellow, 
while I was kneeling in prayer at Ratobus. All the 
way up and over the mountain, Teman kept talking 
about it, and told everybody we met that we had 
been all but killed. We tried hard to find out why 
the young man wished to kill us. We never had 
seen him before to our knowledge, and we were all 
the more anxious to get at the bottom of it. It 
turned out that there were two of them in the plot, 
but we could never ascertain anything further than 
that they thought the new religion was doing two 
things : first, increasing their diseases ; and, secondly, 
decreasing the gains of their own disease-making. 

It was not until some time after this that we 
found out, that the same people had killed and 
cooked three of the natives of our very neighbour- 
hood not long before we landed, for no other reason 
than that they had received a foreign religion, which 
they believed would be a fresh source of disease. 
Had we known this, we should not have ventured so 
soon among them. However, after it was all over, 
we did not regret that we had gone freely among 
them, and showed them all the kindness we could. 

Our people were in a ferment when they heard 
that such attempts had been made on our lives, 
talked about war, revenge, and so on. Of course 
we opposed all this, and begged them rather to try 
and get the guilty parties to come and have a 
friendly interview with us, that we might render 
good for evil, and remove, if possible, any cause of 
anger. Our people again insisted that we keep to 


our own district, and never go to the distance 
again. And so the affair passed off. 

Here again we felt our helplessness, and that 
the mission ought to have been commenced with 
double the number of missionaries, and a good band 
of native pioneers as well, to occupy these distant 
places, and, under God, nip in the very bud these 
heathen prejudices, which were beginning to work 
so mightily against us. 




In the strength of God, we buckled afresh and 
struggled on, still going as far in the distance as 
we could. We generally went together in the week- 
days, but on Sabbaths we separated, that we might 
go over as much ground as we could. A Sabbath 
or two after the occurrence just related, I took the 
hill on the one side of the bay, and Mr. Nisbet the 
mountain on the other side. While I was among 
the villages about mid-day, a stir got up, and I saw 
men setting off in a hurry, with their clubs and 
spears, talking about fighting. The war was still 
going on, and some were drafted off every day, to 
guard the boundary, and fight if attacked. Some 
said they were fighting close by our house ; others 
said no, that it was further inland ; and that some of 
our people were being killed there ; and so I cut 
short my work, and hurried down the hill home. 
All was quiet. I felt anxious about Mr. Nisbet, but 
said nothing to the ladies. I took the glass and 
looked across the bay, and felt relieved by seeing 
him and the two Samoans, who went with him, 
getting into their carioe all ready to return. 

As Mr. Msbet came in, he looked dull and sad. 
" What is the matter ?" said I. " We have got into 


another difficulty. Jamie has been nearly killed, 
and just on the mountain over there, where we 
thought all were so friendly.' ' Jamie was our 
assistant printer, and had accompanied Mr. Nisbet 
that morning. On reaching a village they found 
some two or three hundred people assembled. Mr. 
Nisbet did not know what they had met for, but as 
he walked on to where some of the principal men 
were, he congratulated himself on having pounced in 
upon so many of them, and was hoping for a good 
congregation. All on a sudden, he saw a party of 
fifty or sixty of them get up and run off. He looked 
round, and there was Jamie struck on the left tem- 
ple and bleeding. It turned out that when Mr. 
Ms bet made his appearance, one of the priestcraft 
party got up with his club, bent on mischief. He 
first went behind Mr. Msbet; but just at that 
moment Mr. Nisbet stepped aside to shake hands 
and say, " How do you do ?" to a chief whom he 
recognized sitting with some others. This scared 
the fellow with the club. He then slipped back to 
Jamie, who was following, and when he got be- 
hind him, wheeled round, struck him on the head, 
and ran off. All his party ran off with him, and 
when they were a stonecast in the distance, they 
stood still, to see, probably, whether any of the rest 
had courage to back them in their purpose, and kill 
the whole three of them. All was now in an uproar. 
Some scolding the fellows who were standing in the 
distance ; others assuring Mr. Nisbet that they had 
no hand in it; and others crowding about Jamie, 


who was streaming with blood. The women, too, 
came running to the spot, and broke out in their 
howling death-wail, thinking that Jamie was mor- 
tally wounded. It would have been madness to 
have remained a minute longer. Jamie was able to 
walk, and, followed by a crowd of friendly natives, 
Mr. Msbet, with Jamie and our other servant, 
Taume, made all haste back to the canoe, and came 
across. For four days we were anxious about poor 
Jamie, but God blessed the means used for his 
recovery, and ere long he was well again. 

This was another dark chapter to us. It was 
evident that the priesthood were still intent on our 
destruction. We thought we were safe if we only 
kept away from the valley where we were nearly 
killed a fortnight before, but now it was plain that 
these fellows had the hardihood to strike a blow 
anywhere, and were allowed to do what they pleased. 
We could get no further light on the cause of their 
anger. They said they wished to kill us, because 
our presence there was certain to make their 
coughs worse. It is worthy of remark, that, apart 
from this priestcraft altogether, there was a firm 
belief among all, that of late years, since they had 
visits from white men, their influenza epidemics 
were far more frequent and fatal than they used to 
be. This impression is not confined to Tanna ; it is, 
if I mistake . not, universal throughout the Pacific. 
Although, however, the priesthood gave the fear of 
disease as their reason, we felt convinced that a 
principal cause of their hatred, was the belief, that if 


Christianity prevailed, their craft was ruined. Our 
people were sad about this further attempt on our 
lives, were clamorous about seeking revenge, and 
were now more urgent than ever that we should 
keep at home. " Did not we tell you they would 
kill you if you go there ? You must never go 
again 1" 

As the new year set in, our difficulties increased. 
Dysentery broke out with great virulence, and cut 
off many. It raged fearfully among our enemies, 
and, what was further remarkable, the people in 
the immediate neighbourhood of our house were 
quite free from the disease. The priestcraft party 
concluded that we were doing it all, and were now 
more savage than ever, and determined to kill us. 
We sent them medicine, and did all we could think 
of to show them kindness, but in vain. 

One afternoon we were sent for to visit a sick 
chief, about a mile from our house. We thought all 
were our friends there, and Mr. Msbet and I at once 
went. He was ill, and apparently dying. They had 
him laid out under the shade of a banian-tree, and 
surrounded by his friends. He was weak, and could 
not speak above a whisper. I stooped down to talk 
with him, and so did Mr. Nisbet. He had often 
attended our services. After trying to lighten up 
the dark valley to him, with thoughts of Christ and 
heaven, I rose up again. Just as I got to my feet, 
something gleamed in my left eye. I turned round, 
and shall never forget the fiendish half- smile, half- 
grin of that fellow as he eyed me, apparently scared 


in his horrid intention. Whether he intended to 
strike while I was stooping down, or what, I hardly 
know; but his tomahawk was up, and as my eye 
caught his, he raised the other hand as if merely 
looking at it, and feeling its edge. I said nothing, 
but it struck me there was something wrong. We 
had just said to the chief that we should go and 
make up some medicine for him, and so Mr. Msbet 
and I bade them good-bye, and walked down the 
hill, and along the beach home. We observed 
groups here and there, and saw, as we were leaving 
the settlement, some hurried message going from 
one to another, but neither Mr. Nisbet nor I ex- 
pressed to each other any suspicion. Two years 
after, when visiting the island, I found out that that 
very afternoon a plot was laid to kill us, and the 
reason they gave for not having done it was, that 
Mr. Nisbet and I ran and escaped. That was false, 
for we walked slowly home all the way. I thought 
the people looked shy, and I could not get the axe 
out of my mind for days, but I said nothing. 

That poor chief died. Dysentery continued, but 
principally in the distance among our enemies. In 
the midst of all the war was going on. Our people 
were getting the upper hand, but one day they killed 
some who were connected with the mountain people, 
opposite our house. Up to this time the mountain 
party had been all but neutral, and we went freely 
among them, but now the scale was turned. Suffer- 
ing from dysentery too, and angry at our people, 
they joined the enemy. The priestcraft party did 


the same, and all were now banded together for the 
double purpose of killing us, and conquering the 
people among whom we lived. 

At this time a vessel called and remained for a 
few days. The captain kindly offered to take us off 
the island, but we had no idea of leaving. We were 
determined to hold on, while there was the least 
vestige of hope that our lives might be spared. We 
thought that the dysentery after a time would abate, 
and that, under God's blessing, there might be a 
reaction in our favour. We knew that no strange 
thing had happened to us. Satan is sure to dispute 
every inch of his territory, and missionaries must 
expect many a struggle, especially at the outset of a 
mission among a race of cannibals. 




We had now to be exceedingly careful. Our enemies 
were to the right and left of us ; also on the moun- 
tain across the bay, opposite our house. There were 
only a few in the villages, up the hill, behind our 
house, upon whom we could look as our friends. 
One day a messenger came from the mountain, on 
the opposite side of the bay, to say that the people 
were assembled on the beach with a lot of yams to 
sell; that, owing to the war, they were afraid to 
come over, and that they wished us to send across 
our large canoe to buy them. The fellow, too, 
seemed particularly anxious that Mr. Nisbet and I 
should go over at the same time, and pay them a 
visit, so much so, that our suspicions were roused. 
Thinking, however, that it might possibly be an 
opportunity of showing good feeling, we gave our 
servants some calico and fish-hooks, and sent them 
across in the canoe. We begged them to show all 
the kindness they could, but at the same time to 
keep a sharp look-out, and on no account to land. 

I watched them closely with my glass, as they 
approached the opposite shore. It is a shelving, 
rocky place, with deep water close in to the beach. 
I saw a move, a rush, and the canoe pulling back 


into deep water. They held on a little, and then 
returned home. They said that when they reached 
the other side, they saw but few yams piled on the 
rocks, in proportion to the number of people. As 
they were deliberating what to do, a rush was made 
at the canoe, but they pulled back instantly into 
deep water. The plot was now all out. The bush 
behind was filled with armed men ; and who was 
at the head of them but old Teman! The very man 
who risked his life for us when we were nearly killed 
at Iarofi, a few weeks before. But, alas ! he had 
become traitor, too ; and, what was more remarkable 
still, he was seized with dysentery, and in four 
days from the attempt on the canoe, he was in his 

The sudden death of Teman made the priestcraft 
party more clamorous than ever, that we had the 
power of life and death, and were killing them 
with dysentery. " Look at themselves," said they, 
" they are all well, and the people who pray with 
them are all well, and we are all dying." It was 
certainly a remarkable fact that our immediate 
neighbourhood was so free from the epidemic, and 
in our own family we had but one case, and that 
of a mild form. But God's care of us in preserving 
us from savage violence was more striking still. 
Parties of the priesthood were now lurking in our 
neighbourhood, night and day. The wonder is, they 
did not burn our house ; but, for one thing, they were 
afraid of a couple of dogs which we kept loose at 
night, and which gave instant alarm. One night a 



party of four came, and lay down to watch near the 
garden-gate. They knew that we took a walk some- 
times in the moonlight, along the beach. The gate 
opened, and some one, as they thought, came out. 
They were on their feet in an instant. One threw 
a spear, another let fly his kawas, and then they 
listened, expecting to hear a shriek or a fall. Not 
hearing anything, they concluded it was a ghost, 
turned, and ran for their lives. That very party 
was seized with dysentery, and we were told that 
the whole four died. 

Our priestcraft enemies, seeing that they could 
not succeed by stratagem, took a more desperate 
course. They had now mustered a party two thou- 
sand strong, and determined to come in a body, 
and demand our people to join them in an open 
attack upon us, so as to do the horrid work com- 
pletely, and at once. That was a memorable morn- 
ing. We observed an unusual stir, and saw a 
number of strange faces passing the gate, and up 
the hill by the road close to our fence ; all look- 
ing shy, and all extra armed ; but the bulk of the 
people poured into the district by a back road, 
and were met up the hill behind our house, before 
we knew anything about it. 

Presently in comes a message from our chief 
Viavia, entreating us all to keep in-doors, that a 
party had come wishing to kill us, and that they 
were all mustering to deliberate about it. What 
were we to do ? To go up the hill, and try to rea- 
son and remonstrate, or what ? No, that would be 


wilfully rushing to our massacre. We felt that we 
could do nothing but pray, and that, we soon found, 
was everything. We divided ourselves into two 
parties. Our Samoan servants retired to their 
house, and Mr. and Mrs. Msbet, Mrs. Turner, and 
myself were together in our own house, and there 
we wrestled with Him in whose service we were, and 
whose voice it is the missionary's privilege ever to 
hear say, " Lo ! I am with you." 

While we were praying, our enemies were ha- 
ranguing our people on the hill behind our house, 
urging them to join in the massacre. Presently the 
sun was darkened, blackness gathered all around, 
and one of those sudden tropical squalls came 
tearing along, with its lightning, thunder, wind, and 
torrents of rain. This was all in our favour. The 
murderous council was being held out of doors. Our 
savage enemies could not contend with the storm. 
Nor could they retire to a house ; no house was 
large enough to hold a fiftieth part of them ; and 
hence they were forced to hurry their business to a 
close. After stating their wishes, only one of our 
people had courage to stand up in our defence. It 
was our stedfast old friend Kuanuan, a chief of 
secondary rank. "What harm," said he, "have 
the missionaries done ? They are not disease- 
makers. They are true men of the true God. They 
love the whole of us, and have come here to live for 
our good. Give up your rage and wicked designs. 
Go down and get some medicine from the mis- 
sionaries for your sick friends, and let us all unite in 


the worship and service of Jehovah, the true God. 
This will make us all prosperous and happy." The 
enemy gnashed their teeth at him, and muttered 
revenge for his daring to oppose them. 

The final question was now put to Viavia, the 
principal chief of our district, and he was called 
upon to say yes or no. All eyes were turned to him. 
They thought that he would quail before the assem- 
bled priesthood, and yield ; but he, too, dared to 
standby us. He sat for a while, with his head down, 
in silence — a sign of anger — and then spoke out 
in a word or two of curt, abrupt displeasure. "If," 
said he, " you have it in your hearts to kill the mis- 
sionaries, go and do so yowselves. I will have 
no hand in it." On this they all got up in a rage, 
and, as the storm of wind and rain was now fairly 
on, they hurriedly agreed to break up for the day. 
Some came running down the hill, past the house, 
and off home ; others prowled about for a while 
behind our premises, to see whether any of us were 
out, and off our guard; and the rest hastened away 
by the back road. 

As we prayed together while the meeting was 
going on, we felt calm and composed with the 
thought that the Loed reigneth, and not our priest- 
craft enemies. We felt sure that no hand could bo 
lifted against us without His permission. And we 
believed that, if, for reasons unknown to us, but in 
accordance with the inscrutable designs of our Lord 
and Master, that day was to be our last, Ms service 
was infinitely worthy of the sacrifice. On rising 


from our knees, after our second prayer, the dark- 
ness surprised us. I looked out to the mouth of 
the harbour, and saw that a squall was coming on. 
It seemed so emblematical of our circumstances ! It 
was on all at once, and, as the thunder roared, we 
could not but hear it as the frowning voice of the 
Omnipotent against those who were plotting our 
destruction. Presently we heard the running tread 
of natives coming down the hill, behind the house. 
What is it ? Are they coming to kill us ? No. 
" They are passing. There they go, helter-skelter, 
through the rain, as if on their way home." We 
were afraid to venture out to make inquiry. An 
armed party, who had been sitting on the beach a 
little to the left of our house, waiting the result of 
the deliberations, also got up and made off to the 
bush, and this also led us to conclude that the deci- 
sion had, for the time at least, been in our favour. 
We waited on till four in the afternoon, and then in 
came our old friend Kuanuan. He was downcast 
and sad, and from his account of the meeting, it 
appeared evident that the enemy had gone off in a 
rage, only to plot some other scheme. 

Mr. Msbet and I set to work at once to overhaul 
the boat, and get all ready to lift it into the water. 
In the evening we packed up a few things, and 
now, for the first time, seriously thought of leaving. 
What could we do ? Upwards of two thousand 
people banded together, and determined to be our 
murderers. Everything seemed to combine in say- 
ing go. But where were we to go ? This was the 


difficulty. We felt that we needed a council of a 
hundred to advise us. But again we fell back upon 
God, and were comforted by the thought that He 
would make up for all lack of earthly help and 





We had our house watched for the night. In the 
morning we made up a number of presents, and sent 
them to ten or twelve of the principal men in our 
immediate neighbourhood. We gave to each a 
regatta shirt, and some other useful things, and said 
that it was an expression of our gratitude for their 
kindness to us, in rejecting the wicked proposal of 
these cruel men the day before. We knew that 
some of them had shown the cloven foot, and were 
about as ready to join Kasurumene in killing us, as 
to take our side, and stand by us. We took no 
notice of that, however. The present, of course, was 
acceptable. All renewed their expressions of attach- 
ment to us, and their determination to stand by 
us to the last. But still some had the honesty to 
acid — "What are we to do ? The people are all 

The next day was the Sabbath. Crowds came 
to the service. It flashed across our minds that 
some of the enemy might be lurking about there, as 
we had been told that they had the Sabbath in view 
as a good opportunity of striking a blow, while we 
were off our guard at a religious service. We did 
not, however, wish to show anything unusual, and 


so off we went to our little chapel, about a gunshot 
from our house. No disturbance took place ; and 
we were delighted to have such a good opportunity 
of again preaching Christ to so many of them. The 
present was one reason why so many came out that 
day to the service ; but there was another, which 
came out with fearful prominence in the afternoon. 
In general, we had but few at the afternoon service ; 
that afternoon, however, we had an unusual turn- 
out. They kept coming all the time of the service, 
and were all extra armed. 

It was not until the service was over, and until we 
were outside among them, that we knew that a party 
of the enemy had again come. It seemed as if they 
had fixed on that very afternoon to make a fresh, 
but a more clandestine, attempt on our lives ; and 
here we had another remarkable instance of God's 
care over us. Our people had got the hint in some 
way of what was in the wind, and hastened to the 
spot, so that when the enemy came, they found that 
we were surrounded by sixty or seventy armed 
men. Whenever we got outside the chapel we 
saw that there were among the crowd a number of 
these Kasurumene fellows. What were we to do ? 
Were we to run, or stay and speak with them, or 
pass quietly on without taking any notice of them ? 
We thought the last the wisest course. I gave 
Mrs. Turner my arm. Mr. Nisbet did the same to 
Mrs. Nisbet ; and we walked on at our usual pact 
towards our house. We immediately heard behind 
us angry voices, the hubbub of rising strife, and 

WAR declared. 41 

that miserable, ever-recurring word in their savage 
disputes, " Maruangen, maruangen, maruangen!'' — 
War, war, war ! 

Some of our chiefs soon followed us into the 
house. They said the party who had come were 
threatening an immediate war on the whole district. 
By way, too, of an excuse for their appearance, they 
said they had come to get some medicine. We 
took them at their word, and made up some fifty 
useful powders. Our chiefs were afraid, and would 
not allow us to go out to them. We stood, how- 
ever, in the doorway, and said a few words as we 
handed out the medicine, and begged them to come 
for more. 

But, alas ! it was blood, not medicine, they wanted. 
In half an hour they had under their clubs a poor 
unoffending boy, belonging to our people, and beat 
him to death. This was a declaration of war, and 
their usual savage way of doing it. It came out, 
also, that one of the two men who killed the boy 
was the very Narimeta who was on the eve of letting 
fly his kawas at my head, not long before, at Iarofi. 
They said that, as they could not get at us, they 
would begin with the people who protected us, 
and fight their way through them until they 
reached us. 

Next morning, all our people were in arms, and, 
by sunrise, we heard their heavy tread coming down 
the hill behind our house. There they were in a 
string, with Iaru at their head. Iaru was an old 
hero of a hundred fights, blind of an eye, close upon 


eighty years of age, but still erect and energetic ; lie 
remembered Cook, who visited them sixty-nine years 
before. They all mustered in front of our house, 
and wished Mr. Nisbet and myself to go out and 
speak with them. Mr. Nisbet and I put on our hats, 
and went out. "We have come," they said, "to 
see what is to be done about this war. It is all on 
your account. We wish you to help us. Are we to 
be killed when you can save us ? Are they to be 
allowed to come and burn our villages when you can 
keep them back ? We wish you to come and help 
us with your gun, as it is your war, and, with you 
on our side, we are sure of success." 

Viewed from their point, it was perfectly natural 
they should make this request. A single musket 
was at that time an army in itself. We had no 
fire-arms of our own. Mr. Heath, our missionary 
brother from Samoa, who had been living with us 
for a few months, had a fowling-piece, for collecting 
specimens of birds. That he had left in our charge, 
while he went on a visit to England ; and it was this 
the natives had in their eye. 

Mr. Nisbet and I replied — " No ; we cannot join 
you in this war. We are not fighting men, such as 
you see in ships of war. We would rather die our- 
selves than be the murderers of others. We have 
come to teach you about God, and the way to heaven. 
We have done no harm to any one. We are the 
injured party in this affair, and it is your business to 
do all you can to prevent any one from injuring us. 
Remember, you all promised, when you asked us to 


live here, that you would protect us, aud that, on 
war breaking out, you would never ask us to join 
in it." This last remark touched the right chord. 
They hung their heads, and whispered to each other, 
" It is quite true. We said that. We promised never 
to ask them to fight." 

Again, however, they tried to gain their point. 
"If," said one, "you do not wish to go with us, 
just let us have the gun, and one of your Samoan 
servants to fire it, and that will do." "No, no, we 
cannot do that ; that would be all the same as going 
ourselves. We cannot do it," was our reply. We 
then gave them a bit of print, a hatchet, a knife, a 
pair of scissors, and some beads, as a present to the 
father of the lad who had been killed, and begged 
them not to retaliate, but to do all they could think 
of to prevent further bloodshed. They saw it was 
in vain to try any longer to get the gun, promised 
merely to act on the defensive, and off they went to 
the village where the boy had been killed. 

That day there was no fighting ; but next morn- 
ing, which was Tuesday, the enemy came, and the 
fighting commenced in a place in the bush, about 
three miles from our house. But few fall in these 
bush fights ; many, however, are wounded, and often 
they linger for weeks, and die of their wounds. 
Our people kept united, gave spear for spear and 
arrow for arrow, and in the afternoon the enemy re- 
treated for the day. None of our people were killed ; 
but it cut us to the heart to see the wounded, and 
to hear them calling it our war. We were especially 


grieved to see old Wellington Iaru carried past among 
them; but his arrow wound was slight. Close 
behind the wounded came our old friend Kuanuan, 
downcast and sad. He told us that the enemy, 
recognizing him, had shouted all sorts of abusive 
language. They said he was the cause of all the 
disease and death, and one with the missionaries ; 
and wound up all by making a rush at him. He was 
all but taken, and only escaped by throwing back his 
club. This is one of the most humbling things 
a chief can do, and the enemy rejoices over the 
club as if they had got the life of its owner as well. 
They were especially pleased to get Kuanuan' s club, 
and went off, at the close of the day's fighting, 
shouting out to our people, " We have got the club 
of the missionaries to-day ; we shall have themselves 

We got Kuanuan to come in. He seemed now 
to be the only friend in whom we felt confidence. 
Lahi and others were beginning to look shy, and to 
keep avfay. We arranged with Kuanuan to be off 
by dawn to some of his friends, and, through them, 
to send a message from us to the Kasurumene 
priesthood to reconsider, and give up the fight, pro- 
mising them a present, expressive of our friendship, 
if they did. 

After sundown, we seriously considered whether 
we could not be off to sea in our boat and canoe, in 
the hope of reaching some other island. But it was 
out of the question. The sea was high, and the 
wind right for Eromanga. We were completely 


hedged in, and saw that we could do nothing but 
commit ourselves afresh to the Divine care, and 
pray for a speedy deliverance from the anxieties of 
our distressing position. 

Next morning, all our people were off by day- 
break to the fight. They met at the same place, 
but now the enemy had additional forces. Old 
Kuanuan was true to his commission ; but by the 
time he reached the place he found that the very 
party he had hoped to get to mediate had joined 
the enemy. 

This was another anxious day. From a window in 
our house we could see with our glass the very spot 
where they were fighting. A number of the old 
men had gathered about the corner of our garden 
fence, in earnest conversation, and looking out, like 
ourselves, for any signs of advance or retreat on the 
part of our people. About two o'clock, up went the 
smoke and the flames at the village of Raumia — a 
sure sign that the enemy were advancing. Towards 
evening, the people returned from the day's fighting/ 
and brought a dismal tale. They said, that after 
some hours' skirmishing, and seeing the enemy was 
making advance, one of our own chiefs, named Sai, 
turned traitor. He was taking the lead for the day, 
in the place of Yiavia, who was sick ; and hoping 
that all the rest, at the spur of the moment, would 
blindly follow him, he shouted to the enemy, " Come 
on, I am with you. Let us stop this fighting, all 
join together, kill the missionaries, and end the 


"No ! no !" shouted Lahi and Auninan. " "We 
have promised to protect the missionaries ; let us 
fight for them still." And there they quarrelled. 

The enemy were on the alert. They saw that 
our people were divided, came rushing on, took 
Eaumia, and set fire to the houses. This enraged 
our people. They rallied, again faced the enemy, 
but were still unable to hold their ground. Night, 
however, came to our aid. Both parties retreated ; 
the enemy exulting over their success, and our 
people, dispirited, divided, and at their wits' end 
to know what to do. 

The chiefs Lahi and Auniuan came to see what 
was to be done. They were fresh from the fight, 
and furious as tigers. Auniuan foamed at the mouth, 
stormed against the enemy, and against Sai, too, 
who wished to lead all down to our massacre ; and 
wound up all by saying that they must now have 
our gun. "It is for you," said he, "that we are 
fighting ; we are driven ; we are losing our planta- 
tions, our houses, and our lives. Only one day more, 
and everything will be burned on to this house. 
You must let us have that gun." We were quite de- 
cided, and immediately replied, " No ; the gun you 
shall not have. We have not come here to fight. We 
will not, we dare not, let you have it. Do not ask 
for it again." " Then you will be all killed," was 
the instant reply. " Let them, come," we immedi- 
ately added : "let them come and kill us ; we are 
ready to die rather than kill them. Our souls, when 
we die, will go to heaven, and be happy there for 


ever ; but it will be a sad thing for those who kill 
us. God sees, and God will punish." 

On this they cooled down a little. The one 
whispered to the other, " Their hearts are strong ; 
they are not afraid to die. If they are killed, by 
and by we shall all die." They made another onset 
for the gun, but again we firmly refused. They saw 
our minds were quite made up, and off they went. 




All looked dark. It was night, and our staunch old 
friend Kuanuan had not made his appearance. We 
afterwards heard he was busy bundling up his little 
property, and removing his pigs to another village, 
as it seemed certain his own settlement would be the 
first to go next day. What was now to be done ? 
Never did we feel more at a loss to know the Divine 
will. The only visible hope of safety on the coming 
day seemed to be to fire on the enemy. What were 
we to do ? Were we to remain and either be killed 
ourselves, or be the means of killing others, or should 
we commit ourselves to the waves, and try to make 
some other island ? 

We retired together to pray and wrestle with 
God for guidance, and sent our Samoans to their 
house to do the same. For a time we felt over- 
powered, and could scarcely give utterance to our 
desires. But the Lord appeared, and enabled us 
freely to pour out our souls before him. Still, how- 
ever, our Father's countenance seemed hidden. We 
could not see where he pointed, or what he wished 
us to do. Our hearts revolted at the thought of 
firing on the people. We felt willing to meet death 
in any form rather than do that. The question was, 


remain or go to sea ? It occurred to us to cast lots, 
but although the difficulties in both cases seemed 
equal, we thought we had better calmly consider and 
decide. We prayed again, and again deliberated. 
As it had been squally the most of the day, there 
was much to forbid our going to sea. But the wind 
had shifted a few points, and we thought that if we 
could only get out of the bay, and round the east 
point of land, we might hoist our sail and fetch 
Aneiteum, an island about forty miles off. This we 
all thought would be the right course, and so we 
determined to be off to sea by midnight. This we 
thought would put an end to the fighting, save us 
from all temptation to use violence in our extremity ; 
and we felt, too, that even if we did perish at sea, it 
would be better thus to enter heaven, than through 
the medium of savage hands. We now called our 
Samoan servants and teachers. They too, with one 
exception, had come to the conclusion that we should 
be off at once, and not risk the fighting of the day 
close at hand. 

It was now eight o'clock, and we made all haste 
to gather together some few necessaries we had been 
preparing. It was still squally — thundering and 
blowing hard occasionally during the evening. Wow 
and then we trembled as we thought of exposure to 
the billows in a small open boat, badly manned, and 
scarcely knowing where we were going. But the case 
was desperate. Our minds were made up. We 
must go on, and as often as a doubt arose, we 
seemed to hear a voice from heaven, saying, " Be 



strong and of a good courage, fear not nor be 
afraid of them ; for the Lord thy God, he it is that 
will go with thee, he will not fail thee nor forsake 

By and by we had all ready, and were only wait- 
ing the rise of the moon. This was a solemn hour. 
Death and eternity seemed near. This, we thought, 
might be to some, or to all of us, the last opportu- 
nity on earth for deliberate reflection. The parting 
message was thought of, and given with the calm 
heroism of a female martyr — "My dear, if I die, 
and your life should be saved, tell mamma and uncle 
that I never regretted having come in the service of 
Christ." Yes ; this thought was uppermost in our 
minds amid the greatest trials. The cause of our 
Redeemer, we felt, was worthy, not only of one, 
but of ten thousand lives if we had had them to 

But these solemn parting thoughts were soon 
interrupted by the stern realities of our midnight 
flight. About eleven o'clock, our servants came in 
to say that they thought the time was favourable. 
The moon had just risen ; the wind was moderate. 
It rained, but that we thought was an advantage, 
as we wished to get quietly off without being seen 
by the natives, lest they should raise the hue and 
cry, and prevent us : they seldom go about in the 

Before stepping into our boat, we shut the 
door, and committed ourselves once more to God. 
The lines of Newton suggested themselves as 


touchingly appropriate to our circumstances, and we 
sang : 

" Though troubles assail, and dangers affright, 
Though friends should all" fail, and foes all unite ; 
Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide, 
The Scripture assures us 'the Lord will provide.' 

" His call we obey, like Abr'ham of old, 
Not knowing our way, but faith makes us bold ; 
For, though we are strangers, we have a sure guide, 
And trust in all dangers ' the Lord will provide.' " 

"We read the 46th Psalm, and bowed the knee in 
prayer for the Divine direction and protection, and 
preparation of soul for whatever might that night 
be before us. We rose from our knees and went 
down to the boat. Before leaving, we suspended 
a letter by a string from one of the rafters, to inti- 
mate to the captain of any vessel which might anchor 
at the place, and be in search of us, that we had not 
been killed by the natives, but had fled from the 
island, intending, if possible, to reach Aneiteum, and 
to beg that any one into whose hands the letter 
might fall, would follow us there and afford the 
friendly help we might need. I took a farewell look 
round the room, blew out the light, and hurried 
after the party to the boat. I turned back from the 
garden-gate to pluck two water-melons, which had 
just ripened ; and presently we were all seated, and 
pushed off from the beach. 

There were nineteen of us in all, including four 
children. We divided so as to have ten in the boat 
and nine in our large canoe, and arranged to do all 


we could to keep company : our boat was a strong 
thirty feet long whale-boat. Just as we were leaving 
the beach, a squall came on with heavy rain, but we 
pulled off, wishing to get out without being seen by 
the natives. Our dear wives wrapped up as well as 
they could, but as Mr. Msbet and I had to pull for 
our lives like the rest, there was no alternative but 
to give ourselves up to a thorough drenching. 

"Port Resolution" is in the form of a horse- 
shoe ; as we approached the opening between the 
heads our difficulties commenced : a heavy swell 
was setting in, the wind was right ahead and 
freshening up into another squall ; down came the 
rain again in torrents. We still headed out, and our 
boat went over the billows without shipping much 
water. As the squall cleared off, we found from the 
look of the land that we had been driven back a 
bit. The wind was now light, and we stuck to our 
paddles again. We saw the cocoa-nut trees passing 
behind us, and were cheered as we found that we 
were making way notwithstanding the swell. But 
it gets black ahead again, the wind freshens, the 
rollers increase, and down comes another squall 
upon us ; we struggle on amidst wind and rain and 
sea, trying at least to hold our ground. Again it is 
clear: we see the land. "Where are we ?" Driven 
back, but further on than we were at the close of the 
last squall. "That's good, let us keep at it." I 
had my eye on a cocoa-nut tree on the north-west 
side of the entrance ; only abreast of that, I thought, 
and then we will hoist the sail, and rest. 


We cut into one of the melons, felt refreshed, 
and again pulled ahead. But the sea was rough, and 
those great rolling waves right against us made it 
terrible work. Still we hoped to get out, and kept 
at it. Again, however, the wind rose, and another 
squall came tearing along right in our teeth; 
torrents of rain, and for a long time we could see 
nothing. As it cleared off we missed the canoe; 
we thought she had probably shot ahead, cleared 
the point, and was off before us. This made us 
more anxious than ever to get out, and again we 
drove away at our paddles. Now we found that 
there was a current taking us nearer the lee reef 
than we wished to be, but still we hoped to clear it. 
We pulled and pulled, and thought we were making 
head- way, but presently one of our men shouted out 
that we were close upon the breakers, and going 
smash on to the reef; we instantly headed round, 
and stood across the bay a bit. 

Here we held on, and consulted as to what we 
should do. Our Samoans said they thought it now 
seemed impossible to get out ; we thought the same ; 
we looked all about but could see nothing of the 
canoe; we thought they must have got out, were 
anxious not to break faith with them, and encouraged 
each other to try once more. Again we truggled to 
effect our object, but it was all in vain — we were close 
upon the breakers on the lee reef- a & . : , the case 
was perfectly hopeless ; but dark and dismal as the 
prospect seemed to be to go back to the shore, we had 
no alternative. God's will was now unmistakable ; 


had lie wished us to go to sea, lie would not have 
thrown such difficulties in our way. We felt con- 
cerned about the canoe; however, we could do no 
more, and, heading round, pulled slowly b^ck to our 
deserted dwelling. 

As we approached the beach we saw something 
black. "What is that ahead? the canoe, is it? 
Yes; to be sure it is!" and presently we were on 
shore, and talking with those who were in it. They 
too had struggled hard, bat gave up in despair. 
They were afraid also of the heavy sea which seemed 
to be on outside ; they thought the boat might stand 
it, but that they were likely to be swamped, and so 
they returned and were waiting on anxiously to see 
whether we had to do the same. It was a great 
relief to us to meet again our companions in flight, 
and we felt all the more convinced that God was 
still leading us, however mysterious the way seemed 
to be. 

We anchored our boat and canoe, so as to be 
ready at a moment's warning; got a light, and were 
again in our house without having been observed 
by a single native. It was now about three o'clock 
a.m., and we were all faint and sick, and reeling, 
after such a struggle against wind and rain and sea ; 
we heaped our dripping clothes in a corner, and 
threw ourselves on our beds for an hour's rest, to 
prepare us for the fearful day just at hand. 

After a few snatches of confused sleep, we were 
roused at dawn by the shouts of the natives muster- 
ing for battle. Presently our inclosure round the 


house was filled with them. They were now becom- 
ing lawless ; hitherto they respected our fence, but 
now they talked about being our "soldiers," and 
thought they might do what they pleased. On 
going into the sitting-room I found it filled with 
some twenty of the leading chiefs of the district. I 
felt so faint that I could hardly stand or speak ; Mr. 
JNTisbet was not much better, but it was a council of 
war, and we must hear what they had to say. 

It was the old subject : " We are few, the enemy 
is numerous ; we are unable to keep them back ; with 
the gun we think we could drive them off, and there- 
fore we wish you to join us." We had but one 
reply : " We have not come here to fight, we cannot 
join you, we cannot let you have the gun." We told 
them to wait a minute, went into the store-room, 
brought out a lot of hatchets, and put one into the 
hands of the principal men all round the room. 
"Now," we said, " this is our plan : go with these 
to the ground where you expect to meet the enemy, 
hold them up, shout out that they are a present from 
us to them — a proof that we have no unkind feeling 
towards them, and implore them to receive our 
expression of regard, and give up the contest." 

A number of them smacked their lips, and made 
their usual click click with the mouth shut, in 
admiration of the fine new hatchets, and seemed 
pleased with the proposal; but up got old blind- 
eyed Iaru, the orator and warrior of the district, 
and harangued them for a few minutes. The sub- 
stance of his speech was, that they all lay down the 


hatchets, leave them under our care, first try again 
and fight for it, and, in the event of conquering, get 
all those fine hatchets for themselves. Iaru swept 
all before him ; every one laid down his hatchet on 
the table, and all were immediately on their feet 
following the old man out at the door and off to the 
war. We went with them to the end of the fence, 
entreating them to do all they could to try and 
settle affairs without further bloodshed ; they, on the 
other hand, kept urging us to let them have the gun, 
and went off grumbling dissatisfaction. 

After breakfast we all united in prayer ; Mr. 
Nisbet read and prayed, and I did the same. I had 
just said Amen, when the back-door burst open, and 
in rushed the servants, breathless and excited, call- 
ing out, " The war has come ! the war has come !" 
I looked out at the front-door, and saw the natives 
coming running along the beach ; their savage yells 
and everything else seemed to say that destruction 
was near. This was an awful moment ; but God 
was at hand too, and nerved us with presence of 
mind to act. 

As the natives came near, we saw that the most 
of them were our friends. Lahi and some others 
were foremost — all breathless, and imploring us to be 
off to our boat, or along the beach to the point at 
the entrance to the harbour ; they said the enemy 
was right down upon them, and that they had no 
hope of being able to keep them back. We tum- 
bled our boxes again into the boat, and hurried it off 
to the point, telling the Samoan women and children 


to be off there too. A number of the Tanna women 
and school-girls of Mrs. Nisbet and Mrs. Turner 
came rushing in at the heels of Lahi, crying and 
seizing the hands of the ladies, to lead them off to 
the point where the women and children of the dis- 
trict were all running ready to put to sea ; we let 
them go, we felt confidence in the native women who 
had come for them, and the Samoan women and 
children went with them. Mr. Nisbet and I deter- 
mined to wait on a little till the enemy came up, to 
see whether anything could be done at the last to 




The ladies were hardly out of sight before we felt 
that we must follow them. We felt concerned for 
their safety, and, after telling the Samoans to stand 
by the house as long as they could, Mr. JNTisbet and I 
hurried off to the point. We found our dear wives 
all safe in a native hut, but wet to the skin, their 
dresses dripping with sea- water, and a bundle of 
dried leaves for a seat. The rain was pouring as 
they came along, and the beach road was flooded 
with the high tide. The natives would have carried 
them, but they made common cause of it, and waded 
right through. I had rolled up the bed-clothes, with 
a blanket or two, in the moment of flight, and had 
thrown them to a little boy to take on to the point. 
He was honest enough to do so, and with these we 
got our dear wives wrapped up. 

It was quite a scene. The women and children, 
the old people, the sick, the infirm, and the dying, 
were all collected together. The canoes were half 
in the water, everything bundled up, and all ready to 
push off out to sea at a moment's warning. 

But we were no sooner here than we had to be 
off again. A messenger came running to say that 
Mr. Nisbet and I were to go back, that the chiefs 


were all assembled at our house, and wished to 
speak with us. What can it be ? Do they wish 
to separate us and kill us ? Have they massacred 
our servants and teachers ? These and other 
thoughts flashed across our minds, but, whatever it 
was, we all felt that there was no alternative — we 
must go. If they had made up their minds to kill 
us, disrespect and opposition would only add fuel 
to the flames. If they had any new plan for the 
promotion of peace, a refusal to consult with them 
would be perilous. So off Mr. Msbet and I went 
with the messenger. 

As we came in sight of the house, we saw that it 
was surrounded by a black savage crowd, and a 
forest of spears. All were looking and waiting our 
approach. We halted about ten yards from the 
nearest of them ; saw some strange faces, and feared 
it was treachery. 

" What do you want ?" we shouted to them. 

" Something to take to the enemy, as you pro- 
posed in the morning. They are all waiting close by. 
Have -you anything left in the house, or is all off in 
the boat ?" 

" That is good," we replied, " we have plenty;" 
and off we went in among them. Treachery or 
good faith, there was no alternative but to dash 
through the crowd of armed, excited savages. As 
we threaded our way up to the house, we recognized, 
through the paint, the faces of several of our friends, 
and, having cleared the crowd unscathed, we felt 
that they were still sincere in doing their best to 


protect us. Our servants, too, were all safe, and 
everything inside the house untouched. Some of 
the principal chiefs were at our heels, and to them 
we gave twenty hatchets, three dozen of knives, two 
pieces of print, and a piece of white calico, to take 
to the enemy. They were pleased with this, and off 
the whole party went to the place where the enemy 
was waiting. 

We made all haste back to the point to show our 
dear wives that we were still alive, and to tell them 
the good news ; but presently our hopes are dashed 
to the ground. We see in the distance the flames 
rising, the sure signal that another village is being 
burned, and that our people are being driven out. 
What can it mean ? Has the present been rejected ? 
Or is the enemy determined on having our bodies 
next ? We waited on for a time for some messenger 
from the scene of strife, but no one came. It was 
now about two o'clock. Mrs. Nisbet and Mrs. 
Turner were still sitting in this miserable hut. It 
seemed doubtful whether anything was to be gained 
by remaining among the crowd of women, children, 
and sick people ; and so we made up our minds to 
return to our house, and not to leave it again, but 
to die there, if all human protection failed. 

As we were walking home along the beach, we saw 
the flames still rising and spreading in the direction 
of a village called Manuapen. Soon after, a report 
reached us that it was the chief Lamias, who was 
lately beaten by our people, who was the cause of 
this fresh burning and destruction. Seizing his 


opportunity, he came suddenly down upon our 
people at an unprotected part of the district, and 
was burning and carrying all before him, just at the 
very time they were in another direction in council 
with the enemy, trying, on the ground of our pre- 
sent, to stipulate for peace. 

Night again drew on with its friendly aid to our 
wearied bodies and excited minds. As the people 
returned at dusk, reports were conflicting. Some 
said there was to be peace, others said there was 
nothing in prospect but war. By and by we got 
hold of our old friend Kuanuan, and from him we 
learned that all was still dark and cheerless. The 
present, he said, diverted the enemy from further 
fighting for the day, but they gave nothing but the 
curt reply, " For this we give up the missionaries, 
but now we join Lamias in giving you a beating." 

The weather was still stormy, a heavy sea out- 
side, and a swell setting into the bay which con- 
vinced us that any attempt to escape would still be 
fruitless. There was nothing to be done but to 
commit ourselves afresh to our heavenly Father's 
care, and wait the issue of his mysterious but 
unerring providence. 

By daybreak all was war, confusion, and alarm 
again. Kuanuan' s prognostications were but too 
true. The attack was in two places, and it was 
another sad day of excitement and suspense ; but, 
before the sun went down, God sent us deliverance. 
About two o'clock, a confused shouting and yelling 
again burst upon us. I ran to the door, and saw 


tlie natives coming flying along the beach, and 
pointing out to sea. I thought we were again in 
the jaws of destruction, and that this was a signal 
for us to flee to our boat. As they came nearer, we 
heard that they were calling out, " A ship of war 1 
a ship of war ! a ship of war come to help us !" I 
wheeled round, and there, to be sure, was a vessel 
just hove in sight round the point. This was like 
life to the dead. I seized the glass, and looked out. 
" A large brig standing in." Not a moment was to 
be lost. We feared lest she might merely be 
cruising, and stand off again. While Mr. Nisbet 
got the boat ready, I wrote a letter of distress to 
the captain ; and in a few minutes all the hands we 
could muster were off paddling with the sail up, and 
the fowling-piece loaded to fire and attract attention. 
Before sunset the vessel was at anchor off our door, 
and the captain on shore with us, assuring us of 
every assistance in his power. 

It was the brig " Highlander," of Hobart Town, 
Captain Lucas, engaged in whaling. They knew of 
our having landed at Tanna, felt curious to know 
whether we were dead or alive, and, as they were 
cruising in the neighbourhood, thought they would 
take a run in and see. Captain Lucas said that 
there had been a heavy sea outside for several days, 
and that if we had got out that night our boat could 
not have lived for an hour in it. Our hearts over- 
flowed with gratitude, and we were filled with 
amazement at our heavenly Father's wonder-working 
care. Captain Lucas let us have five men to help 


us in watching our premises for the night, and left 
us, to consult with his officers on board as to our 
wish to be taken to Samoa. 

Before the captain left, in came a deputation 
from the chiefs, with a request that we get an armed 
party from the vessel to join them on the following 
morning in an attack upon the enemy. We replied 
by again reminding them of the agreement when we 
landed, never to be called upon to join in their wars. 
" There is the captain," we said, " if you wish him 
to help you, you are at liberty to ask him ; but as 
for us, we abide by the agreement — we cannot inter- 
fere." They then turned to the captain, and we 
interpreted for him. " No, no," said Captain Lucas, 
"can't have anything to do with your fighting." 
They went away vexed, and half-inclined to be 
angry ; but we could not help it. 

Leaving the principal part of the watching for 
the night to Captain Lucas's men, and having lighter 
hearts, we all got a refreshing sleep. Next morning 
was Saturday. The natives mustered again, and 
made a fresh onset for an armed party from the 
vessel. The enemy had not come near, being afraid 
of the vessel ; but our people wished to attack them, 
and seek revenge for the burning and destruction of 
the previous days. Captain Lucas was soon on shore, 
but it was to help us, not the natives. He again 
gave them a positive refusal, and begged them not 
to ask him any more. 

Captain Lucas proposed to take us all to Sydney 
or Hobart Town, but as we numbered nineteen in all 


we feared the expense of going to either of the colo- 
nies. Besides, Mr. Msbet and I were desirous of 
employing ourselves on missionary ground while 
waiting the further instructions of the Directors, and 
hence we entreated Captain Lucas to take us to 
Samoa. He had no chart upon which he could 
depend eastward of the Feejees, and feared the delay 
of going so far to windward, but seeing us so anxious 
about it, he at last consented to try and take us to 
the Samoan group. We drew out an agreement to 
give him £200, and arranged to be all ready for him 
a little after midnight on Sabbath night, so as to get 
all on board before sunrise, and before the natives 
could muster to hinder us. We offered the Captain 
£50 more if he would let us call at the neighbouring 
islands of Aneiteum, Futuna, and Niua, on which we 
had teachers. But with so many on board, in addi- 
tion to his large whaling crew, and baffling winds, 
he could not risk the delay. We knew that our 
teachers had but lately been ordered to leave Mua ; 
at Aneiteum they were also hindered, and in jeopardy 
from the disease-makers. At Futuna there was also 
opposition; nay, at that very time, as we afterwards 
learned, the whole mission family was massacred by 
the Futuna people for the very same reason which 
led us to flee from Tanna. We had little hope of 
being able to settle anywhere short of Samoa, still 
we felt anxious to see for ourselves before leaving 
the group. We could not, however, urge Captain 
Lucas to do more. We felt that it was a great 
stretch for him to undertake what he did. 


All day we were hard at work packing up as 
quietly as we could. We left our sitting-room intact 
to the last. The natives whispered that we might 
perhaps go. Some said No, and thought that we 
must wait for our own vessel. Others thought 
Captain Lucas would remain with his men to protect 
us, but all day no one ventured to ask. They came 
and peeped in now and then, and seeing the sitting- 
room, mats, tables, books, clock, etc., all as usual, 
walked away. By midnight we had all nearly ready, 
and rested for the Sabbath-day. 

On Sabbath the enemy were still afraid of the 
vessel, and did not come near. They kept in the 
distance, plundering plantations passed over on the 
preceding days, and our people did not do more than 
guard the boundary. We had public worship as 
usual. At the close of the morning service, I over- 
heard the chiefs whispering to each other about 
getting help to fight. One said, " Come now, let us 
speak about it." 

"No," said another, "it will be of no use to 
speak to-day ; they won't speak about that on the 
Sabbath. Let us pray well to-day, and to-morrow 
morning all come again and ask them to help us." 

I took no notice of it, but I saw that all fell in 
with the wiser proposal to say nothing on the Sab- 

At midnight we were all at work again. We had 
little to do, but to bundle up what was left to the 
last in the sitting-room. By three o'clock we were 
all ready. Our chapel, boat- shed, and other out- 



houses were crowded with people from the adjacent 
villages, who had been burned out, but all were 
fast asleep. We first got the ladies, with the 
Samoan women and children, into our boat and 
canoe, and Mr. Nisbet went off with them to the 
vessel. This was the signal for Captain Lucas, with 
his three boats and twenty men, to start for the 
shore. They brought fire-arms with them, but we 
implored them not to fire a shot if they could help 
it, and, in the event of an attack, rather to rush 
to the boats and leave everything of ours behind. 
Four or five men walked about with their muskets 
shouldered, and the rest carried down the things to 
the boats. The natives sleeping in our outhouses 
woke up, messengers flew through the district, and., 
by daylight, when I left the shore, the natives were 
hurrying towards the house from all the settlements. 
But before there was time for the chiefs to muster 
and deliberate about anything, we were all on board 
with everything that we cared about taking with us. 
We felt thankful to Captain Lucas and his men for 
having managed the affair so well. No resistance 
was offered. Every one stared in amazement, and 
everything was on board without a gun having been 
fired even to intimidate. 

Before leaving the beach, I got hold of Kuanuan. 
I told him we were going. He was greatly distressed. 
Poor old man ! He leaned on my arm and shoulder 
and cried like a child. I begged him to assemble 
the chiefs, tell them all about it, and then all go on 
board the vessel and see us before we sailed. Eleven of 






the chiefs soon came off to the vessel. They brought a 
pig as a peace-offering, and told us how grieved they 
were at what had happened. We told them that it 
was very grievous to us too — that -it was our wish to 
live among them till our hairs were gray, to tell 
them about Jesus, and to lead them and their chil- 
dren in the way to heaven, but that now we were 
driven from their shores. Not one said, stay. In- 
deed they could not. They said that they expected 
to be driven out to sea as soon as the vessel left. 
Fangota said he thought of fleeing to Niua, and 
begged us to go there. We reminded him that our 
teachers there too were opposed by the disease- 
makers, and that we had little hope of being able to 
settle anywhere, for the present, nearer than Samoa. 
We promised, however, that they might expect our 
vessel to come again, that we would love them still, 
and pray for them, and do everything we could to 
resume the mission at some future time, if they had 
done with their wars and wished to learn the way to 
heaven. Kuanuan promised to count the days, and 
keep up religious services, as well as he could, every 
Sabbath, and also on the Wednesday afternoons. We 
gave them a letter to hand to the captain of any 
vessel which might call, lest it should be thought, from 
the deserted house and premises, that we had all been 
killed. All was confusion getting the ship ready for 
sea, and with feelings which may be more easily 
imagined than described, we shook hands and parted. 
In the afternoon we weighed anchor, and with 
heavy hearts, yet grateful to God for our miraculous 


preservation and deliverance, we took a farewell look 
of our lovely little cottage on that savage shore; 
and thus ended our seven months of missionary life 
at Tanna. 

The wind was fair for standing eastward, and by 
the following morning we were out of sight of the 
New Hebrides, and far on our way to Samoa. We 
were all worn out with anxiety and fatigue, but had 
now time to rest. Our course was through the 
Feejee group, and while there we on one occasion 
felt in jeopardy. Captain Lucas gave orders to load 
all the fire-arms, and prepare for an attack from the 
natives. We were all but becalmed, and the Fee- 
jeans were coming off in large canoes containing 
fifty and a hundred men, armed with clubs, spears, 
and muskets. But God sent us a favourable breeze, 
which filled our sails and carried us beyond the reach 
of the formidable savages. After clearing Feejee we 
had a gale which blew our sails to rags, but it soon 
passed off, and at the end of four weeks we anchored 
in safety at Apia in the Samoan group. 

We shall never forget the humane and respectful 
bearing of Captain Lucas and all on board. Nor 
can we cease to remember the kind reception we met 
with at Samoa. We were welcomed with open arms 
by Mr. and Mrs. Mills, at Apia, and by all the mis- 
sionaries ; and the people of some of the districts vied 
with each other in inviting us to be their mission- 
aries. We thanked God that he had still some work 
for us to do, and, encouraged by his past goodness, we 
set out afresh on our second stage of missionary life. 




Soon after we were driven from Tanna, I drew up a 
paper, and forwarded it to the Directors of the 
London Missionary Society, giving an account of the 
island, as far as our limited stay, and equally limited 
opportunities of observation, extended. The follow- 
ing notices embody the principal things stated in 
the paper referred to : — 

Tanna is a large island, compared with some 
others in its neighbourhood, and hence its name 
" Tanna sore," or The Great Land. Tanna means 
land, and sore, great. Tanna, by the way, is the 
Java and the Malay word for land ; and, at the 
very outset of inquiry, indicates the origin of the 
people. The island of Tanna is situated in 19° 30' 
south latitude, and 169° 20' east longitude ; that is 
to say, about eight days' sail from Sydney. It is 
nearly circular. It stretches from east to west 
about forty miles, and from north to south about 
thirty-five. There is a high mountain in the centre, 
covered with vegetation to the top, and all over the 
island there is a considerable variety of hill and dale, 
all equally fertile. In one part there is a beautiful 
lake, and in another an active volcano. 

The island was discovered by Captain Cook in 



1774. He discovered the harbour also, the native 
name of which is ITea, and called it, after his ship, 
"Port Resolution." It was at one time said that 
our missionary brig " Camden" was the fourth 
vessel which had anchored at that place, from the 
days of Cook ; but it turned out that the said fourth 
vessel, from the date of the " Camden " backwards, 
was one on board of which the natives learned, for 
the first time, that a certain useful functionary was 
called the cook. No doubt they concluded that the 
said official was in some way related to our great 
navigator, and so they called that ship the vessel of 
Cook. But they start afresh from the cook of the 
galley, and count backwards over many a vessel, 
until they come to the real Cook, or Kuke 
(Cookey), as they call him, of 1774, and there they 
stop. That, they say, was the first ship that ever had 
intercourse with them. When Captain Cook fired 
upon them, they were all sadly afraid, and concluded 
that he must be a god. Two died, and five re- 
covered from their wounds. We met with one old 
man, in particular, who said he well remembered the 
time. He was then a boy of ten years of age. 
Judging from the appearance of this man, we could 
at once infer that old age at Tanna extends to the 
"threescore years and ten, and .... fourscore 

" Port Resolution " opens to the north, and is 
formed by a neck of low land on the east side, 
abounding in pumice-stone and other volcanic mat- 
ter, and on the west by a mountain five hundred 


feet above the level of the sea. The interior of this 
mountain is a vast furnace, and in some places the 
crust is so thin, that in passing o^er it, it is like 
walking on a hot iron plate. I was travelling over 
it one day, with two of our Samoan natives, who 
were unaccustomed to the place. They were before 
me. Presently they commenced shouting, and leap- 
ing, and skipping on ahead, as if suddenly de- 
mented. " Whatever is the matter?" I said. They 
looked round from the cooler spot they had reached, 
and said, " Don't you feel it hot ? Ah, you have 
shoes on!" Near the top of this mountain there 
is a barren spot, with fissures here and there, from 
which volumes of steam burst up now and then, 
and also sulphurous vapours. The greater part of 
the mountain, however, is covered with vegetation, 
and is inhabited by a population of some five hun- 
dred people, scattered about in several villages. 
They have not the slightest apprehension of danger, 
and have their settlements so arranged as to throw 
some of the hot places into their marum, or forum, 
for public meetings, in the very centre of the village. 
There they lounge and enjoy themselves, on a cold 
day, from the underground heat, and there, too, 
they have their night-dances. Around the base of 
this mountain, and among the rocks on the west side 
of the harbour, there are several hot springs, which 
are of great service to the natives. Their degrees 
of heat vary. Some form a pleasant tepid-bath, 
and to these the sick resort, especially those suffer- 
ing from ulcerous sores. Some rise to 190°, and 


others bubble up about the boiling point. Every 
day you may see the women there cooking their 
yams, and other vegetables, in hollow places dug 
out, and which form a series of never-failing boiling 
pots. The men and boys have only to stand on the 
rocks, spear their fish, and pitch them behind into 
the hot spring. 

Beyond this mountain, and about five miles from 
the anchorage, stands the cone of the volcano. The 
black sandy dust and cinders from the crater, form a 
barren valley about a mile wide all round the base of 
the mountain which forms the crater. In crossing 
the valley one day we felt our walking-sticks going- 
down among something soft, and, on turning round, 
found it to be a beautiful bed of sulphur, yellow as 
gold. Not far from the same place the fumes of 
sulphur were so strong from some fissures, that we 
could not go near them. Near the base of the 
mountain we found some masses of a clayey sub- 
stance, hard, and in some places burning hot. From 
cracks here and there, the steam and boiling water 
came up as from an immense boiler. But what 
most astonished us at this place was a steady drop, 
drop, dropping of water, quite cold and clear as 
crystal, from a fissure, within a few feet of another 
crack, which was sending forth a blast of air so hot 
that we could not bear the hand near it for two 
seconds. It is the same at the hot springs already 
referred to. You can boil yams at one place, and 
within five yards of it get a glass of cool fresh 


The ascent up the mountain to the edge of the 
cup is a gradual slope, but the walking is laborious, 
as you sink to the ankles at every step in the fine 
dark gray dust or sand which has accumulated from 
the eruptions of the volcano. The perpendicular 
height of the crater from the valley at its base is 
almost three hundred feet. When you reach the 
edge of the cup, you see. that it is oblong, and curved 
rather than circular, and about a mile and a-half in 
circumference. On reaching the top and looking 
over the edge, you expect to see the boiling lava ; but 
instead of that, the great cup contains five other 
smaller cups, or outlets, separated from each other 
by ridges of dark sand. To see the boiling lava, 
you would require to go down inside the outer cup, 
and then up one of these interior ridges. Were it 
solid rock, the attempt might be made, but from the 
fragile sandy appearance of these smaller ridges, it 
seems as if it would be sure to slip, and down you 
go. Then again, you never know the moment there 
is to be an eruption, nor do you know from which of 
the five outlets it is to come. I felt no inclination 
to risk the experiment, which would be something 
like examining the interior of the mouth of a cannon, 
not knowing the instant it might go off. You feel 
that you are far enough when you stand on the edge 
of the outer cup. The hissing, panting, blowing, 
and strange unearthly sounds from these great 
gulfs, as you look down and along, are fearful, 
and presently you are awe- struck with the thunder- 
ing, deafening roar of an eruption, which baffles 


description. The simultaneous bursting of a number 
of steam-engine boilers, or the explosion of a ton of 
gunpowder, or the united volley from a regiment or 
two of infantry and artillery, might be something 
like it. Then up fly the great crimson flakes of 
liquid lava, which gradually blacken, and consolidate, 
and descend. More solid blocks of stone fly up 
with these softer masses, and. rise far above them, to 
a height of two and three hundred feet from the edge 
of the cup. The most of this matter falls right down 
again into the crater. It sometimes takes a slant, 
however, as you see from the masses of obsidian or 
volcanic glass and scoriae all about, so that you re- 
quire to have your wits about you, keep a look-out 
overhead, and be ready to " stand from under." 

Clouds of steam and thick black smoke also rise 
with every eruption. This smoke goes, of course, 
with the prevailing wind, and the atmosphere for 
miles in that direction is charged with the dark 
volcanic dust. The volcano was to the west of 
where we lived. The first day we had a westerly wind 
Mr. Nisbet and I were busy out of doors, putting 
up the roof of our house. We felt a strange sensation 
about the eyes and nostrils, and could not imagine 
what it was which was gathering on our hands and 
arms. Presently we discovered that the clouds of 
black dust from the volcano were coming in our 
direction, and that the atmosphere was loaded with 
the finest dark gray particles. Next morning every 
leaf and blade of grass was covered with a thin 
coating of something like the finest steel filings. 


Our people were in the habit of praying to their 
gods for a change of wind on such occasions, and 
that, we were told, was pretty much the case all 
over the island. Every one, when annoyed with 
the smoke and dust, prays that they may be sent 
elsewhere. At Port Resolution, we seldom had a 
westerly wind, and, as it did not last above a day 
or two, we did not suffer much inconvenience from 
the volcano ; but that dust must be very troublesome 
to settlements in a westerly direction. Captain Cook 
speaks of having been annoyed by this volcanic dust. 
He did not venture so far inland as to visit the 
volcano. The account, however, which he recorded 
of the frequency of the eruptions, and their appear- 
ance from the harbour, is interesting and useful, as 
it is an exact description of the working of the 
volcano at the present day. Speaking of the mountain 
on the west side of the bay, to which we have referred, 
he thus wrote : — " Some of our gentlemen attempted 
to ascend a hill at some distance, with an intent of 
observing the volcano more distinctly, but they were 
obliged to retreat precipitately, the ground under 
them being so hot that they might as well have 
walked over an oven ; the smell, too, of the air was 
intolerably sulphurous, which was occasioned by a 
smoke that issued from the fissures of the earth." In 
another place he remarks : " On Thursday, the 11th, 
during the night, the volcano was very troublesome, 
and threw out great quantities of fire and smoke, 
with a most tremendous noise ; and sometimes we 
saw great stones thrown into the air. * * * * 


On the 12th, the volcano was more furious than 
ever, and we were much molested with the ashes. 
* * * * Xhe rain that fell this day was a 
mixture of water, sand, and earth ; so that we had, 
properly speaking, showers of mire." — (" Cook's 
Voyages, " folio edition, p. 168.) 

Had we been longer on the island we might 
probably have paid a night visit to the volcano ; but 
it was a fine sight to look over from our door, on a 
calm clear evening, to the brilliant display of fire- 
works, which went blazing up every eight or ten 
minutes. So far as we observed, that is the usual 
interval between the eruptions, night and day. The 
native name of the volcano is Asur (Asoor) . They 
have a tradition that it came from the neighbouring 
island of Aneiteum; and, probably, this may be 
founded on some such fact as the extinction of a 
volcano on Aneiteum being followed by the outbreak 
of this one on Tanna. 

But I hasten to the 'people. Tanna is a field of 
no ordinary interest for scientific observation ; but 
the business of the missionary is man. The popu- 
lation of the island cannot, I think, be less than ten 
or twelve thousand. They are under the middle 
stature. There are some fine exceptions, but that 
is the rule. Their colour is exactly that of an old 
copper coin. You see some of them as black as the 
New Hollanders, but it is occasioned by dyeing their 
bodies a few shades darker than the natural colour. 
They have less of the negro cast of countenance than 
some of the other Papuan tribes we have met with, 


and if they would only wash the paint off their faces, 
and look like men, yon might pick out from among 
them a company of good-looking fellows. We often 
said to each other there is so-and-so, the very image 
of some old friend or fellow- student. 

Red is the favourite colour of paint for the face. 
It is a red earth, which they get principally from 
Aneiteum. They first oil the face, and then daub 
on the dry powder with the thumb. Some of the 
chiefs show their rank by an extra coat of the pig- 
ment, and have it plastered on as thick as clay. 
Black is the sign of mourning. This they manage 
with oil and pounded charcoal. Some make their 
faces glisten like the work of a shoe-black. Others 
seem as if they had first oiled their faces, and then 
dipped them into a bag of soot. 

Their hair is frizzled, and often of a light brown 
colour, rather than black. The women wear it short, 
but have it all laid out in a forest of little erect curls, 
about an inch and a-half long. There is something 
quite unusual in the way in which the men do up 
their hair. They wear it twelve and eighteen inches 
long, and have it divided into some six or seven 
hundred little locks or tresses. Beginning at the 
roots, every one of these is carefully wound round 
by the thin rind of a creeping plant, giving it the 
appearance of a piece of twine. The ends are left 
exposed for about two inches, and oiled and curled. 
This curious collection of six hundred locks of hair 
is thrown back off the forehead, and hangs down 
behind. The little curled ends are all of equal 


length, and form a semicircle of curls from ear to 
ear, or from shoulder to shoulder. Viewed at a 
distance, you imagine that the man has got some 
strange wig on, made of whip -cords, in some in- 
stances coloured black, and in others red ; but, on 
closer inspection, you find that it is his natural hair 
done up as I have just described. I had the curiosity, 
one day, to count the exact number of these' little 
locks of hair on a young man's head, and found that 
they were close upon seven hundred. The labour in 
keeping all these in order is immense, and the only 
utility of the thing seems to be, that it forms a good 
thick pad of cords for protecting the head from the 
rays of the sun. With the exception of the adjacent 
islands of Aneiteum, Mua, and Futuna, I have not 
seen or heard of anything like this in any other part 
of the Pacific. It reminds one of the Egyptian 

Gallery in the British Mu- 

:~|5- seum, and strikingly com- 

^^^^^^Mk pares with the illustrations 

/ * " illill^ ^ n recent wor ks on Nine- 

VJ. ^^raUlL ve ^' Those twisted beards, 

7 -Ai^il^ljk a ^ so » hanging down in lots 

/ i^^^^^^P °^ ^tle cur l s > two or three 

S<* ''^^^^^^^^^^^ inches below the chin, 

W^^0^0S^0mUmm^ which are to be seen in 

engravings from the Assy- 
rian sculptures, are precisely what is to be seen at 
the present day at Tanna, and especially among the 
priesthood at Kasurumene, near the Volcano Valley. 
I have now open before me p. 403 of the sixth volume 


of Kitto's " Bible Illustrations." If you imagine 
the priest there, minus his fine garments, and with 
nothing in his hands but a long wooden spear and 
a club, and the addition of a little red paint to his 
cheeks and forehead, you have a good idea of some 
of the Tanna chiefs at the present day. This sin- 
gular custom is worthy of being noticed and noted 
by ethnologists. Dr. Livingstone has found some- 
thing like it in the interior of Africa. Speaking 
of the Banyai, he says : " As they draw out their 
hair into small cords, a foot in length, and entwine 
the inner bark of a certain tree round each separate 
cord, and dye the substance of a reddish colour, 
many of them put me in mind of the ancient 
Egyptians." — ("Travels in South Africa," p. 624.) 

The Tannese pierce the septum of the nose, and 
insert a small piece of wood or reed horizontally, 
but not so as to project beyond either nostril. 

They are fond of ear-rings also, but not of the 
usual tiny trinket description. They must have a 
great tortoise-shell article, half an inch wide, and 
two, three, or four inches in diameter. Nor are they 
content with one of these dangling on each side ; 
they have half-a-dozen of them sometimes, of various 
sizes, in one ear. The weight of such things enlarges 
the apertures fearfully : a child's hand might pass 
through some of them. 

They do not tatoo ; cutting or burning some 
rude device of a leaf or a fish on the breast, or upper 
part of the arm, are other modes of ornament. 

The women are pretty well covered with their 



long girdles, hanging down below the knee. They 
wear them occasionally also over the shoulders. They 
are made from the rolled and dried fibre of the 

banana stalk, are yery 
soft, and at first sight 
look like hemp. 

But, alas for the 
poor sons of Adam, 
their clothing is very 
scant ! They wear a 
belt round the waist 
an inch deep. Instead 
of "an apron" of " fig- 
leaves," they make a 
little bit of matting, or 
rag of any kind, suffice. With this they form an ugly- 
looking bundle, the receptacle as well of anything 
small which happens to come in the way — such as 
beads, fish-hooks, or tobacco. The whole is tied 
tightly together, by several turns of hair-cord, and 
one end pulled up through the belt in front. They 
strut about in this disgusting costume, and criticize 
the Eromangans and others, as if they thought their 
own aesthetics of dress were of the highest order. 

All wear some ornament round the neck. Beads 
are in repute, and the larger the better. But there 
is nothing of which a chief is fonder for a necklace 
than three large whale's teeth, on three separate 
strings, and dangling horizontally on his breast. 
The} 7 often tack on to the necklace a few locks of 
the hair of a deceased relative. 



Armlets are also common. They are made of the 
cocoa-nut shell, in sections of half an inch wide, and 

rudely carved. They wear one, two, three, and 
sometimes half a dozen of these on either arm, close 
above the elbow, and 
from them they sus- 
pend their spear- 
thrower and sling. 

Their weapons are 
clubs, bows and ar- 
rows, and spears. 
They sling a stone, 
throw a spear, and 
shoot an arrow with 
great precision. They 
are also expert at 

throwing a stone ow mm o 

called a kawas, which 
you often see in their 
hands. It is about 
the length of an 
ordinary counting- 
house ruler, only twice as thick, and that they throw 
with deadly precision when their victim is within 

twenty yards of them. All the men go about armed. 
When at work in their plantations their arms are 



never out of sight, and at night they sleep within 
reach of their club. Even the little boys must have 
their tiny clubs, and spears, and bows and arrows, 
and always go about ready for a quarrel. 

At the first glance, one concludes that the Tan- 
nese must live in a state of perpetual war. This is 
actually the case. War is the rule, peace the excep- 
tion. They were fighting during five out of the 
seven months we lived among them, and I should 
think that is a fair average of the way in which they 
have lived from time immemorial. There is ample 
proof there that war is the enemy of civilization and 
the element of savage life. We were never able to 
extend our journeys above four miles from our dwell- 
ing. At such distances you come to boundaries 
which are never passed, and beyond which the people 
speak a different dialect. At one of these boundaries 
actual war will be going on ; at another, kidnapping 
and cooking each other ; and at another, all may be 
peace ; but, by mutual consent, they have no deal- 
ings with each other. Their fighting is principally 
bush skirmishing; they rarely come to close hand- 
to-hand club fighting. When visiting the volcano 
one day, the natives told us about a battle in which 
one party which was pursued ran right into the crater, 
and there fought for a while on the downward slope 
inside the cup ! But few fall in their daily skirmishes. 
Many, however, are cut off after lingering for weeks 
under fatal wounds. 

When the body of an enemy is taken, it is dressed 
for the oven, and served up with yams at the next meal. 


Captain Cook only suspected they were cannibals. 
There is no doubt about the thing now. They delight 
in human flesh, and distribute it in little bits far and 
near among their friends, as a delicious morsel. I 
recollect talking to a native one day about it, and 
trying to fill him with disgust at the custom, but the 
attempt was vain. He wound up all with a hearty 
laugh at what he no doubt considered my weakness, 
and added : " Pig's flesh is very good for you, but 
this is the thing for us;" and suiting the action to 
the word, he seized his arm with his teeth, and shook 
it, as if he were going to take the bit out ! It is 
different on some other islands, but at Tanna can- 
nibal connoisseurs prefer a black man to a white one. 
The latter they say tastes salt ! They regard, how- 
ever, as "fish" all who come in their way, as the 
sequel to massacres of white men there has amply 

In Eastern Polynesia, the rule has been that in a 
group of four, seven, or ten islands within sight of 
each other, we have found but one dialect, and the 
people having a good deal of intercourse, not only 
with each other on the same island, but also with the 
various islands of the group. They had their quarrels 
and their wars, at times, but they made up matters 
after a while, and went on again in harmony. In 
going westward, however, among the Papuan tribes 
of the New Hebrides, we found ourselves in a totally 
different region, all split up into the most hostile 
isolation. Take, for example, four of the southerly 
islands of the group, viz., Tanna, Eromanga, Futuna, 



and Aneiteum, all within sight of each other ; we find 
a totally different dialect on each, and books which 
may be printed for the one will be quite useless to 
the other. Even on the same island we find two 
and three different dialects. Take, for example, the 
numerals of the three dialects which we found on 
Tanna alone, as a specimen of the isolation and 
differences which prevail : — 


Riti . . 

Kaiti . 

. Kaliki. 


Karu . 

Kaiu . 

. Kalalu. 


Kahar . 

Kesel. . 

. Kisisel. 


Kefa . 

Kuet . . 

. Kuas. 



Katilum . 

. Kiilkulup 

Mr. Nisbet and I hoped that we might eventually 
be able to fix upon some one of the dialects of the 
island, and make it the basis of our translations and 
oral instructions. It was, however, a grievous affair 
to find that, on going to a place four miles from our 
door, we needed an interpreter to communicate with 
the people. It is worthy of remark, that these dialects 
are copious, euphonic, and have some of the niceties 
of language ; a triplial as well as a dual in the pro- 
nouns, for instance. 

We found no such thing as a king or great 
chief at Tanna. No Thakombau, Pomare, or Kame- 
hameha there. The authority of a Tanna chief does 
not seem to extend a gunshot from his own dwelling. 
In a settlement, or village, you find eight or ten 
families. Their huts are put up, without any rule 


or arrangement, among the trees ; and in this place, 
which has its village name, you may number a popu- 
lation of eighty or a hundred. There will be at least 
one or two principal men among them, who are called 
chiefs. The affairs of this little community are regu- 
lated by the chiefs and the heads of families. Six, or 
eight, or more, of these villages unite and form what 
may be called a district, or county, and all league 
together for mutual protection. If a person belong- 
ing to one of these villages is injured or killed by the 
people of another district, all the villages of his dis- 
trict unite in seeking redress, either by a fine or by 
war and spoliation. 

Every village has a clear circular space under the 
shade of a large banian-tree for their marum, or place 
of public meeting. Here all the men of the settle- 
ment assemble about sundown for a cup of kava and 
their evening meal. The kava (Piper methysticum) 
is prepared in the usual Polynesian way, by chewing 
the root, and ejecting the contents of the mouth into 
the " punch-bowl," which, when fillecl up with water, 
mixed, and strained, forms the draught. The women 
and girls are " total abstainers" from the nasty cup, 
and have their meals apart from the men. At the 
evening meal the chief of the village is the high-priest, 
and repeats a short prayer to the gods before they 
drink, asking health, long life, good crops, and suc- 
cess in battle. In the marum they have also their 
marriage-feasts. Raw yams and live pigs are served 
up on these occasions, as well as cooked food, 
and heaps are carried away by the guests. Feasts 


at the birth of children, night-dances, and meet- 
ings to discnss political affairs are all held in the 

Every village has its orators. In pnblic harangues 
these men chant their speeches, and walk about in 
peripatetic fashion, from the circumference into the 
centre of the marum, laying off their sentences at the 
same time with the flourish of a club. By common 
consent, from time immemorial, some one of these 
seven, ten, or twelve villages which form a district, 
takes the lead, and is considered the capital of the 
district, and there the different villages all meet and 
deliberate on war, or other important matters. In 
war two or more of these districts unite. But they 
are fickle and faithless in their unions. A district 
will be fighting on one side to-day, and off to another 

Polygamy prevails, but not to any great extent. 
A chief has seldom more than three wives, and often 
only one or two. Women are not allowed to sit with 
the men in the marum, except on marriage -feasts or 
other public festivals. Owing to the constant demand 
on the services of the men for war, a great deal of 
the plantation work, cooking, etc., devolves on the 
women ; but, upon the whole, we thought the women 
better treated at Tanna than they often are among 
heathen tribes. Adultery and some other crimes are 
kept in check by the fear of club law. The culprit is 
never safe, and does not know the moment he may 
be pounced upon by the offended party. Revenge, 
too, is often sought in the death of the brother, or 


some other near relative of the culprit. The Tan- 
nese are fond of their children. JSTo infanticide there. 
They allow them every indulgence, girls as well as 
boys. Circumcision is regularly practised about the 
seventh year. 

Yams, taro, bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts, sugar-cane, 
and bananas grow in abundance, and form the prin- 
cipal food of the people. We found also some other 
fruit-trees which are not common to Eastern Poly- 
nesia. The most useful of these is the fig-tree. The 
fruit is rather insipid, and in colour and form resem- 
bles a large plum. The yam is principally cultivated, 
and the size of some of them astonished us. We 
have seen them four feet in length, and weighing 
forty or fifty pounds each. They bestow a great 
deal of labour on their yam plantations, and keep 
them in fine order. You look over a reed fence, and 
there you see ten or twenty mounds of earth, some 
of them seven feet high and sixty in circumference. 
These are heaps of loose earth without a single stone, 
all thrown up by the hand. In the centre they plant 
one of the largest yams whole, and round the sides 
some smaller ones. The produce, in such yams as I 
have described, amply repays them for their labour. 

Pigs and fowls, they say, have always been 
there ; dogs and cats were but recently introduced. 
Captain Cook left them two animals which they 
called tangarooah. On showing them the picture of 
a kangaroo, they said they believed that was the 
very animal. The one died, and the other howled 
so pitifully after its mate that they killed it. 


The Tannese have no idols. The banian-tree 
forms their sacred grove, or temple, for religions 
worship. Here and there in the bnsh there are par- 
ticular stones which are venerated, and have a history 
which our limited stay on the island did not enable 
us to ascertain. Many points connected with their 
cosmogany, and other traditions, we reserved for 
further acquaintance with the language, little thinking 
that our residence on the island was to be so abruptly 
cut short. 

Their general name for gods seems to be aremha ; 
that means a dead man, and hints alike at the origin 
and nature of their religious worship. The spirits 
of their departed ancestors are their gods. Chiefs 
who reach an advanced age are after death deified, 
addressed by name, and prayed to on various 
occasions. They are supposed especially to preside 
over the growth of the yams and the different fruit- 
trees. The first-fruits are presented to them, and 
in doing this they lay a little of the fruit on some 
stone, or shelving branch of the tree, or some more 
temporary altar of a few rough sticks from the bush, 
lashed together with strips of bark, in the form of a 
table with its four feet stuck in the ground. All 
being quiet, the chief acts as high-priest, and prays 
aloud thus : " Compassionate father ! here is some 
food for you; eat it; be kind to us on account of 
it." And, instead of an amen, all unite in a shout. 
This takes place about mid-day, and afterwards 
those who are assembled continue together feasting 
and dancing till midnight or three in the morning. 


A day or two before we left, we found out that 
they have the heavens portioned out into constel- 
lations. They have the canoe with its outrigger; 
the duck, and a man near it with his bow drawn, 
and taking his aim ; the cooking-house tongs ; the 
company of little children all sitting eating, and 
many other objects. These constellations form their 
astronomical clock, and by looking up they can tell 
you whether it is near morning or midnight. Then 
they have their traditions as to how these canoes, 
and ducks, and children got up to the heavens ; but 
the minutiae as to their sidereal notions and nomen- 
clature can only be ascertained by a lengthened 
residence on the island. 

The real gods at Tanna may be said to be the 
disease-makers. It is surprising how these men are 
dreaded, and how firm the belief is that they have in 
their hands the power of life and death. There are 
rain-makers and thunder-makers, and fly and mus- 
quito-makers, and a host of other "sacred men," 
but the disease-makers are the most dreaded. It is 
believed that these men can create disease and death 
by burning what is called nahah. Nahak means 
rubbish, but principally refuse of food. Everything 
of the kind they bury or throw into the sea, lest the 
disease-makers should get hold of it. These fellows 
are always about, and consider it their special busi- 
ness to pick up and burn, with certain formalities, 
anything in the nahak line which comes in their 
way. If a disease-maker sees the skin of a banana, 
for instance, he picks it up, wraps it in a leaf, and 


wears it all day hanging round his neck. The people 
stare as they see him go along, and say to each 
other, " He has got something ; he will do for some- 
body by and by at night." In the evening he 
scrapes some bark off a tree, mixes it up with the 
banana skin, rolls all up tightly in a leaf in the form 
of a cigar, and then puts the one end close enough 
to the fire to cause it to singe, and smoulder, and 
burn away very gradually. Presently he hears a 
shell blowing. " There," he says to his friends, 
" there it is ; that is the man whose rubbish I am 
now burning, he is ill ; let us stop burning, and see 
what they bring in the morning." 

When a person is taken ill, he believes that it is 
occasioned by some one burning his rubbish. In- 
stead of thinking about medicine, he calls some one 
to blow a shell, a large conch or other shell, which, 
when perforated and blown, can be heard two or 
three miles off. The meaning of it is to implore the 
person who is supposed to be burning the sick man's 
rubbish and causing all the pain, to stop burning ; 
and it is a promise as well that a present will be 
taken in the morning. The greater the pain the 
more they blow the shell, and when the pain abates 
they cease, supposing that the disease-maker has 
been kind enough to stop burning. Then the friends 
of the sick man arrange about a present to take in 
the morning. Pigs, mats, knives, hatchets, beads, 
whales' teeth, etc., are the sort of things taken. 
Some of the disease-making craft are always ready 
to receive the presents, and to assure the party that 


they will do their best to prevent the rubbish being 
again burned. If the poor man has another attack 
at night, he thinks the nahak is again burning ; the 
shell is again blown, other presents taken, and so 
they go on. " All that a man hath will he give for 
his life," and if he dies, his friends lay it all down to 
the disease-makers, as not being pleased with the 
presents taken, and as having burned the rubbish to 
the end. The idea is, that whenever it is all burned 
the person dies. Night after night might be heard 
the dismal too-too-tooing of these shells. We ob- 
served, also, that the belief in the system of nahak 
burning was as firm in the craft as out of it. If 
a disease-maker was ill himself, he felt sure that 
some one must be burning his nahak. He, too, 
must have a shell blown, and presents sent to the 
party supposed to be causing the mischief. 

Some of our kind neighbours were surprised at 
our indifference on the matter, and felt so concerned 
for our safety that whenever they saw a banana skin 
lying at our back-door, or about the servants' houses, 
they would pick it up, take it away, and throw it 
into the sea, lest the disease-makers should get hold 
of it. We were told that the craft repeatedly picked 
up things about our house, and tried their hand at 
the burning of them, but never could succeed. They 
declare, however, to this day, that they killed one of 
our Samoan teachers by burning his nahak. 

Coughs, influenza, dysentery, and some skin dis- 
eases, the Tannese attribute to their intercourse with 
white men, and call them foreign things. When a 


person is said to be ill, the next question is, " What 
is the matter? Is it nahak or a foreign thing?" 
The opinion there is universal, that they have had 
tenfold more of disease and death since they had 
intercourse with ships than they had before. We 
thought at first it was prejudice and fault-finding, 
but the reply of the more honest and thoughtful of 
the natives invariably was : " It is quite true. 
Formerly people here never died till they were old, 
but now-a-days there is no end to this influenza, and 
coughing, and death." 

The sick are kindly attended to to the last. 
Local bleeding is a common remedy for almost every 
complaint; they do not open a vein, but merely 
make a few incisions with a bamboo-knife. When 
the case is considered dangerous, their last resort is 
to burn the foot. I have seen, for instance, a poor 
fellow dying from an arrow- wound in the neck, and 
the sole of his foot just burned to a mass of raw 
flesh. Unconsciousness, or any other symptom of 
approaching death, is the signal to commence 
wailing. When the patient lingers for days, the 
wailing becomes a tearless, formal affair. You may 
tell them that to the sufferer it is the very reverse of 
the kindness which they mean to express, and out 
of deference to you they may stop their dismal, 
deafening wail ; but, as soon as your back is turned, 
they are at it again. At death it is increased by 
other friends who gather round. The body is then 
laid out, wrapped in a piece of thick native cloth, 
something like tanned leather, made from the bark 


of the banian-tree. The face is kept exposed and 
painted red, and on the following day the grave is 
dug, and the body buried amid the weeping and 
wailing of the surrounding friends. The grave is 
dug four or five feet deep; then they hollow out 
a recess on the one side sufficient to admit the 
body, and there they lay it in the side of the pit. 
There is something peculiar in this, and strikingly 
illustrative of that obscure reference, in the book of 
Ezekiel, to "the sides of the pit." (Ezek. xxxii. 23.) 
It is in general difficult to trace the origin of the 
customs practised by a heathen people. To this, 
however, we have a melancholy exception in the 
recent introduction to Tanna of a species of 
sutteeism. On the neighbouring island of Aneiteum, 
it was common, on the death of a chief, to strangle 
his wives, that they might accompany him to the 
regions of the departed. The custom has been 
found in various parts of the Pacific. The poor 
deluded woman rejoices in it, if she has any affection 
for her husband, and not only shows us the strength 
of her attachment, but also her firm belief in the 
reality of a future state. An old chief will say as he 
is dying, " Now, who will go with me ?" and imme- 
diately one and another will reply, " I will." On 
the island of Aneiteum this revolting custom has 
entirely fled before the light of Christianity. By 
the common consent of the chiefs and people all 
over the island it is strictly forbidden, but, strange 
to say, it has found a refuge and a resting-place still 
in the group on poor heathen Tanna. A few years 


ago they commenced there to strangle the wives of 
a departed chief, and the cnstom is said to be 
spreading over the island; another proof of the 
the tendency of heathenism. Its tendency is down- 
wards, never upwards ; its development is the in- 
crease of hnman wretchedness. The dark places of 
the earth are now, as they have ever been, full of 
the habitations of cruelty ; the light of the gospel is 
the remedy. Thanks be to the God of missions, 
his servants are again on Tanna; the light of 
Divine truth again shines in that dark land, and is 
destined to wax brighter and brighter to the perfect 
day of Christianity, when war and bloodshed, can- 
nibalism and sutteeism, and every form of Satanic 
influence shall hide their heads as ashamed. We 
speak because we believe ; we believe because we 
have seen how gloriously the gospel of Jesus 
triumphs when fully and prayerfully brought to bear 
upon heathenism of whatever name or form. 

SAMOA. 95 



Samoa is the native name of the group of volcanic 
islands in Central Polynesia, commonly known as the 
"Navigators." They are situated about 3000 miles 
from Sydney, and may be seen on the chart between 
the parallels of 13° and 15° south latitude, and 168° 
and 173° west longitude. The mountains of Savaii, 
one of which is 4000 feet high, may be seen 50 
miles off, and, on coming near, the stranger finds 
a lovely island, 150 miles in circumference, and 
covered with vegetation as far as the eye can reach. 
The mountains of Upolu and Tutuila rise 2000 and 
3000 feet above the level of the sea, and present 
the same aspect of richness and fertility. These are 
the principal islands in the group. They run east 
and west. Upolu, 130 miles in circumference, is in 
the middle, having Savaii 10 miles to the west, and 
Tutuila, an island 80 miles in circumference, about 
40 miles to the east. There are several smaller 
islands, which are inhabited, and several other 
isolated romantic spots here and there, which are 
not inhabited. 

Upolu is almost entirely surrounded by barrier 
reefs ; those wonderful submarine walls, or break- 


waters, built up to the level of the sea, and forming 
a lovely smooth lagoon, invaluable for fishing and 
facilitating all kinds of intercommunication between 
the settlements.* The distance between the shore 
and the reef varies from thirty feet to three or four 
miles. In some places the lagoons are shallow, and 

* There is a popular error abroad about coral reefs, which we 
have repeatedly seen, and of which the following is a specimen 
from a London periodical of last year : — " Imagine that you and I 
are sailing in a vessel upon the South Seas. How beautifully 
we glide along ! The vessel skims the ocean like a swan. But 
what is that yonder, rising above the billows like a painted 
highland ? Now it sparkles in the rays of the sun like a rock 
of silver, and now it assumes different colours, variegated in the 
most charming manner. Red, golden, silvery hues, all blend 
together in delightful richness. Nearer and nearer we come to 
the attractive object, all the while appearing more beautiful and 
brilliant than the Crystal Palace, when, lo ! we discover it is the 
splendid work of insects so small that we cannot see them with 
the naked eye. Yes, the little coral insect threw up those 
many-coloured reefs, a little at a time, until we have this magni- 
ficent sight. And just over there, beyond that line of reefs, you 
see that little island covered with tall palm-trees, so green and 

This is all imaginary. There is no such thing to be seen 
rising up out of the sea, for the simple reason, that the lime- 
secreting coral insect cannot work out of the water. When it 
comes to the surface of the ocean it stops building ; hence the 
reefs are all covered by the sea, and the surf breaking over them. 
When a little bit happens to be exposed, on a calm day, at low 
water, it presents none of that Crystal Palace grandeur, but 
a dirty, muddy appearance rather, from the fragments of sea- 
weed, drift-wood, and all sorts of rubbish which collect upon 
it. But in sailing along in a boat in the lagoon, between the 
reef and the shore, some lovely beds of living coral may be 
seen ten and twenty feet down below the surface of the water, 
and there the said " red, golden, and silvery hues all blend 
together in delightful riehness," 

SAMOA. 97 

require the rise of the tide to allow a canoe to pass 
along ; in other places, and particularly where there 
are openings in the reef, they are ten and twenty 
fathoms deep, and afford good anchorage to ships. 
The rivers are neither numerous nor large, but there 
is no lack of fresh water. It springs up in abundance 
in many parts of the interior, and along the coast. 
The natives, who number 35,000, are of pure 
Malayan origin. Hardly a vestige is to be seen 
among them of the crisped and woolly-haired dark 
brown Papuans, or Western Polynesian negroes. But 
as the physical characteristics and language* of 
Central and Eastern Polynesia are well known, I 
pass on to other matters. 

The Dutch " three-ship expedition," under Rog- 
ge wein, in 1772, seems to have been the first to 
notice these islands. Then followed the French 
navigators, Bougainville and La Perouse, the former 
in 1768 and the latter in 1787. Bougainville, see- 
ing the natives move about so much in canoes, gave 
the group the name of the " Isles of the Navi- 
gators." Captain Cook heard of them, in 1773, 
from the Tongans, noted some of their names, 
and, in 1791, they were visited by H.B. M. ship 
" Pandora." 

The massacre, at Tutuila, of M. de Langle and 

* My brother missionary, Mr. Pratt, has a grammar and 
vocabulary of the Samoan dialect in progress, which I hope will 
be carried through the press in the islands in the course of the 
year. The different kinds of native poetry will also be noticed. 
As soon as printed, copies will be forwarded to the Mission House, 
in Bloomfield Street, where it may be had. 



others, belonging to the expedition nnder the unfor- 
tunate La Perouse, branded the whole group for 
fifty years as a race of treacherous savages, whose 
shores ought not to be approached. Had the native 
version of the tale been known, it would have consi- 
derably modified the accounts which were published 
in the Voyages of La Perouse. The origin of the 
quarrel was not with the party who went on shore 
in the boats. A native, who was out at the ship, 
was roughly dealt with, for some real or supposed 
case of pilfering. The poor fellow was shot at, and 
mortally wounded, and, when taken on shore bleed- 
ing and dying, his enraged companions roused all 
who were on the spot to seek instant revenge. Hence 
the deadly attack on the party in the boats at the 
beach, in which the stones flew like bullets from a 
steam-gun, and which ended in the death of M. 
de Langle, his brother officer, and ten of the crew. 
The natives wound up the bodies of the French- 
men in native cloth, and decently buried them, as 
they do their own people. The only inference, pro- 
bably, which ought to have been drawn from this 
tragic occurrence was, that heathen natives have a 
keen sense of justice, and that if men will go upon 
the disproportionate principle of a life for a tooth, 
and shoot a man for a perfect trifle, they must abide 
by the consequences. It is certain to be avenged, 
and, alas ! it is often the case that vengeance falls 
not on the guilty, but on some unsuspecting visitor 
who may subsequently follow. 

For the next half century the group was dreaded ; 


SAMOA. 99 

but when our missionaries, Williams and Barff, 
arrived with Tahitian teachers, in 1830, they were 
delighted to find the people quite friendly. There 
was something remarkably providential in the time 
when these good men first visited the people, and 
in several other circumstances connected with the 
commencement of the mission. It was a crisis in 
Samoan history. Tamafainga, who was supposed 
to have within him the spirit of one of the principal 
war gods, had just been killed. He had not de- 
scended from any of the royal families of Samoa, 
but the supposition that he could rule the destinies 
of war raised him high in the scale of political 
influence. The principal titles of the two large 
islands had been given to him, and in pride and 
profligacy he had become a pest and a proverb. A 
plot was laid for him one night, when he was far 
from home. Some village coquettes threw him off 
his guard by their flatteries. Presently he found that 
the house was surrounded by a band of desperadoes. 
He rushed through them into the sea, and escaped 
the first onset ; but he was pursued, caught, over- 
powered, and clubbed to death. All are of opinion, 
that if this fellow had been alive, he would have been 
a perfect Nero in opposing the new religion. Before 
any other daring upstart had time to concoct a 
scheme for political influence, by declaring that he 
had the spirit of the god which dwelt in Tamafainga, 
the missionaries arrived. They had picked up an 
influential Samoan at Tonga, who not only piloted 
them to the very spot best suited to begin the work, 


but whose glowing description of the value of Chris- 
tianity, from what he had seen of it at Tonga, com- 
bined with the bland and kind bearing of Messrs. 
Williams and Barff, won the entire confidence of the 
people. War was raging to avenge the death of 
Tamafainga ; but the wish of the chiefs and people 
seemed so cordial to receive their new instructors, 
that the missionaries had no hesitation in locating at 
once in the settlement of the chief Malietoa, on 
Savaii, eight teachers from the Tahitian Islands. 
Malietoa was now the principal leader of the tribes 
who had acknowledged Tamafainga as their head. 
Subsequently he inherited all his political titles, and 
to the close of his life, in 1840, was faithful to his 
original pledge to Messrs. Williams and Barff, to be 
the friend of Christian missionaries and teachers. 




It must not be supposed that Satan gave up his 
dominion in Samoa without a struggle. In Prout's 
Life of Williams (page 372), the following is the 
description of a scene in which the Christian party- 
felt obliged to arm and prepare to resist the heathen 
party in an avowed attempt to drive Christianity 
from the land : " The people expected every moment 
the furious onset of the enemy. All the warriors 
of the district were clad in the wild military costume 
of the country, and were armed, some with clubs, 
others with bows, and others with slings and spears, 
and, while thus presenting to the eye a spectacle the 
most alien from the design of Christianity, and not 
unfrequently expressing, in their tone and gesture, 
the untamed ferocity of their natures, they shouted, 
or knelt before the Lord in the attitude of devo- 
tion. But, most unexpectedly, their foes did not 
appear; and, on the following morning, it was 
announced that the heathen forces had suddenly 

This occurred within a few miles of the place 
where the teachers were first located by Messrs. 
Williams and Barff, and reminds me of a similar 
instance of heathen opposition in another part of the 


group. The heathen party forbad the beating of the 
native wooden drum, the common substitute for a 
church bell. They said it made the gods angry. 
The Christian party refused; they knew what the 
issue would be if they yielded. They still beat the 
drum, as usual, to call the people to worship. One 
night the heathen party came, stole the drum from 
the side of the teachers' house, and threw it away 
in the bush. The Christian party quietly sought for 
it, and brought it back. This was repeated. Then 
the heathen party declared war. The day came ; the 
Christian party armed too, and were all engaged in 
united prayer, when the shout for battle burst upon 
them. They started to their feet, and were presently 
face to face with their painted savage enemies. Guns 
were presented, triggers drawn — the powder flashed 
in the pan, but not a gun would go off. They raised 
their clubs, but not a man had courage to rush and 
strike his blow. Spears were poised, but not one 
thrown. It was the same with the guns of the 
Christian party ; they would not go off, and not a 
man struck a blow or threw a spear. The people 
felt confounded, wished to fight, and could not. 
The teachers were at hand ; rushed in between the 
parties; all listened, sat down, were astonished at 
" the power of God in shutting the mouths of their 
guns, and in making their clubs and spears useless," 
had a friendly conference, agreed to live at peace 
with each other, and dispersed. It was a complete 
victory on the side of Christianity. Day after day 
the teachers had fresh converts from heathenism, 


and soon there were none left in that district, but a 
few harmless, uninfluential obstinates. 

These instances of violent hindrance from hea- 
thenism died away. The Gad of the " men who had 
burst through the heavens" began to be feared. Of 
old the Samoans thought the heavens ended at the 
horizon, and hence the name which they give, to this 
day, to the white men, viz., pdjpdlangi, or heaven- 
bursters. The ships, the masts, the sails, the boats, 
the calico, the hatchets, the trinkets, and a host of 
other things, gave the natives high ideas of the white 
man's God. Opposition, however, was not at an 
end. Satan tried another scheme. The news soon 
spread, among the whaling and other vessels in the 
Pacific, that there were Christian teachers on Samoa, 
and that the natives were friendly. On the faith of 
this, white men soon ventured on shore in various 
places, and took up their abode among the people. 
A chief thought it added vastly to his importance to 
have a white man in his train, and thinking that the 
religion of white men must be all the same, and that 
any one could set it up, he would urge his adopted 
white son to be the high-priest of his family and 
district. The white men made the attempt, and 
seeing that the thing was popular, carried it on. In 
some rare case there might be a man like "John 
Adams" among the Pitcairn Islanders, who had a 
Bible, and tried to tell them some of its great truths ; 
but, in most instances, it was hardly a step in 
advance of heathenism. The privilege of eating 
several kinds of fish and fowl which had been 


regarded as the incarnations of mischievous spirits, 
and the thought of having a more powerful God 
who could give longer life, were grand ideas to a 
Samoan, and made many, day after day, join the 
white man's religion. He told them, too, that the 
Tahitian missionary teachers were too strict, and 
that polygamy, night-dances, and other inseparables 
of heathenism, were quite harmless ; and this, of 
course, made his system for a time all the more 
popular. A native, who was a follower of one of 
them, and who distinctly remembers the doings of 
runaway sailors in these days, thus wrote, in giving 
me an account of his early history : — 

" The new religion was spreading in our village. 
One and another joined, eat the incarnations of the 
spirits, no harm followed, and so I determined to 
join. The sea-eel and the sea-spider (common 
Octopus) were the incarnations of the gods to whom 
our family prayed. I procured one of each. I then 
sent to inquire whether I was to join first, or eat the 
fish first. The reply was, that I was to join first. 
I went immediately to the white man's house — he 
was said to be a Portuguese. I told him I had come 
to say that I was now of his religion, and would 
henceforth worship his God. After this, I cooked 
and eat a piece of the eel and the sea- spider. Night 
came on, and there I lay, feeling whether any disease 
was commencing. The night passed, and the follow- 
ing day, and other days ; I felt quite well, and so 
concluded that the white man's God was more 
powerful than the gods of Samoa. Our great time 


for worship was once a year. It was about the 
month of May. Every day, during a whole month, 
we met with the white man. He sang, and we tried 
to catch his words and follow him ; but it was in a 
foreign language. He read from a foreign book ; we 
did not know a word of it. We all bowed down on 
our knees, and he did the same, and prayed for a 
few seconds, all still in an unknown tongue. That 
was all we did. The whole month was a time of 
feasting and night- dancing. When the month was 
over, we separated, and went to our respective 
villages. There was nothing forbidden ; plurality of 
wives, and other heathen customs, remained as they 
were. Nothing was required but to meet together, 
for a month in the year, for worship, feasting, and 
fun. I never prayed at home, merely when we met 
once a year. I contented myself with the thought 
that I was of the white man's religion, and under 
the protection of the white man's God. When any 
of us were sick, he came and prayed for recovery." 

An Englishman, in another district, carried on in 
a similar way. He had a weekly Sabbath, got a 
chapel built for worship, read from a foreign book, 
sang, prayed, and made an attempt at telling the 
natives, in their own tongue, what they now recog- 
nize as Bible stories. Once a year he summoned all 
his adherents, who were numerous and widely scat- 
tered. Some of them came distances of forty miles. 
They took quantities of food with them ; all met, 
had a great feast, and, on this occasion, there was a 
special religious service, which was no doubt meant 


to be the observance of the Lord's Supper. Only 
the chiefs and heads of families and their wives 
were admitted to this. They knew not what it 
meant, but, from their description of little bits of 
taro, and a sip of cocoa-nut water, it is evident that 
it was an attempt at the holy communion. Then 
they separated, and the more distant never thought 
more of the religion until the next annual gather- 
ing and feast. There was nothing forbidden. They 
might have night-dances, and live as they pleased, as 
their leader himself countenanced balls and all sorts 
of revelry. 

The spirit- worship of heathenism, as we have 
already remarked, had become unpopular — it was all 
the fashion to have a foreign religion, and any 
worthless upstart, whether white, brown, or black, 
was sure to get a number of followers. I might add 
several other illustrations, but will only give one more. 
A Samoan, who had been away for a year or two on 
board a whale-ship, and visited some foreign ports, 
at length returned, and he, too, must set up his 
foreign religion. Although further from the truth 
than ever, this fellow got a surprising number of 
adherents. He would stand up with an English 
book before his face, pretend to be reading, mutter 
off some unintelligible jargon, talk a little on any 
subject, and pray, naming the " God of heaven." 
By and by, he and his party made out that they had 
the Son of God among them, dwelling in the body of 
an old woman, and that, whenever she pleased, she 
could tell them the true mind and sayings of Jesus 


Christ, or " Seesoo Alaisah," as she called him. She 
gave out that Christ came in person to her house 
from the bush after dark, and that all the sick were 
to come and be touched by him, and made whole. 
This wonderful touching was done at night , and in 
the dark ! A curtain of native cloth was strung up, 
partitioning off a corner of the house. The patient 
came, sat down on the one side of the curtain, and 
presently a cold hand came over the top of it, and 
touched his head, or breast, or limb, as the disease 
might be. The hoax was carried on by the old 
lady's sister, as it afterwards came out. There 
were, of course, many wonderful cures, and then 
there was such a rush from all parts of the group to 
be touched ! 

After a time the said old lady declared that the 
" last day" was at hand, and ordered all to prepare 
for the coming of Christ. All were to go and weed 
about the graves, as the dead were to be raised, and 
would like to see all tidy. The taro plants were to 
be plucked up and thrown away, bananas were to be 
destroyed, and the pigs to be killed and cooked. 
Food, she said, would be no longer needed. Jesus 
Christ, when he came, would go about and burn up 
everything, and then abundance of food would be 
sent down from heaven for them. The poor, cre- 
dulous dupes believed it all. The women and 
children went to weed about the graves, the men to 
root up the taro plants and kill and cook the pigs. 
There were heaps upon heaps of food prepared. The 
feast was over, and then came the day for the appear- 


ance of the Son of God. He was to come walking 
in from the sea on the top of the waves. By early 
dawn the excited gathering, from all parts, were out 
of doors, and every eye on the stretch. Some were 
fear-stricken, others were apprehensive, others more 
inclined to fun and frolic, and there they sat the 
livelong day gazing out to sea, but nothing was to 
be seen beyond the ordinary spray on the reef, and 
the occasional leap of a fish. Towards evening a 
report was passed from group to group that it was 
to be " to-morrow." " To-morrow," said the old 
lady, gravely, " Seesoo Alaisah will come." To- 
morrow came, but the gulled expectants found all at 
sundown just as the day before. The old lady still 
kept her dignity. " Christ wished them to wait 
three days," was the next response. The third day 
came, and the fourth, all the same, of course ; and 
now said her ladyship, " I'll tell you how it is : 
Jesus Christ is offended with this rabble who have 
come to look, and laugh, and joke. He is angry. 
He will not come now, but he says he will come some 
other day, just when it pleases him." Chagrined, 
but still believing, the deluded people set to work 
afresh to replant their taro patches, thinking that 
food, after all, might be of use for some years to 
come. By and by death stepped in — the great en- 
lightener of this, and all kindred fraternities based 
on deceit or delusion — our Samoan Joanna Southcott 
died. The bubble burst. The persistency of a few, 
however, led them to catch at the evaporating frag- 
ments, and, to this day, there are some who still 


maintain that their semi-heathenism is the true 

As these systems allowed free indulgence to all 
heathen immoralities, they were more popular with 
many than the religion of the Bible, which the 
Tahitian teachers, left by the missionaries, attempted 
to teach. Many were contented with anything that 
allowed sin, and did not require a change of heart 
and life. They did not like to be called heathen, 
and wished to be able to say to a Christian teacher, 
or a friend who might warn them of their danger, 
" Don't speak to me. I have got & foreign religion 
as well as you. Mine is as good as yours. Attend 
to your own soul, I am attending to mine." 

When the six missionaries, sent out by the 
London Missionary Society to take up the work so 
happily commenced by Messrs Williams and Barff, 
arrived in 1836, the white men, to whom we have 
referred, gave place to the accredited teachers of the 
group. To this day, however, some of the people 
are still led on, by native religious pretenders, into 
all sorts of extravagances and absurdities, the blind 
literally leading the blind, and both, when they die, 
falling into the ditch — a feature of poor, corrupt, 
sin-loving humanity which, alas, is not peculiar 
to Samoa. Still, notwithstanding all hindrances, 
glorious changes have been effected, and the good 
work goes on. Samoa, too, instead of being shut 
out from civilized man, now contributes her quota to 
the commercial world in the annual export of cocoa- 
nut oil, amounting to about £20,000, and imports 


annually, from the manufactures of England and 
America, to the amount of upwards of £30,000. 

The staff of missionaries which our Society en- 
deavours to keep up at present in the group is ten. 
The number of native teachers is 212, who occupy 
and take the oversight of as many villages. The 
aggregate of our church members is 2798, and of 
candidates for church fellowship, 2892. For the 
support of the village pastors and teachers, the 
present annual contribution of the people is £560, 
and to the funds of the London Missionary Society, 
£650 ; in all £1210, which our Samoans voluntarily 
contribute per annum for the support of the cause 
of God. 




On reaching Samoa, after escaping from Tanna, I 
felt the advantages of having previously spent nine 
months in the group. I had visited most of the 
stations, acquired the language, become familiar 
with the plans of the missionaries, and was some- 
what prepared to enter at once upon all the duties 
of missionary life. 

The news of our arrival soon spread, and among 
the first indications of it was the appearance one 
morning of a party of chiefs and people from one of 
the districts with a present, and " a call " for me to 
go and be their missionary. I thanked them, but 
could only assure them that their wish would be 
duly considered at a meeting of the missionaries 
which was about to be held. The meeting was 
held. Mr. Nisbet and I were received with an over- 
flow of brotherly kindness by all the missionaries, 
and had districts assigned us in which to commence 
missionary labour in connection with the Samoan 

Subsequently we had a kind letter from the 
Directors in London, informing us that, on the 
receipt of our letters giving an account of our 
escape from Tanna, they recorded the following reso- 


lution : " That the Directors receive, with feelings of 
affectionate sympathy, the intelligence of the suffer- 
ings and dangers of their devoted missionaries, Messrs. 
Msbet and Turner, on the island of Tanna, from the 
determined hostility of the barbarous people; and 
they devoutly record their gratitude to Grod, whose 
gracious providence was so signally displayed in 
their rescue from impending death, by the arrival 
of a vessel in which they were conveyed, together 
with the native teachers, to the Navigators." 

Dr. Tidman further added : " We feel sincere 
pleasure in expressing our entire approbation of 
your conduct, not only in reference to the measures 
pursued from the time of your arrival at Tanna, 
with a view to carrying out your important mission, 
but also throughout that long season of fearful 
suspense, and alarm, and peril which preceded your 

providential deliverance As there is no early 

prospect of renewing operations at the New Hebrides, 
at least by European agency, we shall now regard 
you as identified with the Samoan mission/ ' 

It was with much reluctance that we gave up the 
New Hebrides, but the path of duty seemed plain ; 
and as there was plenty to do, we settled down in 
earnest to our work as Samoan missionaries. 

I was appointed to a district on the south side 
of Upolu, containing sixteen villages, scattered along 
the coast about twenty miles, and embracing a popu- 
lation of three thousand. All the ordinary organiza- 
tions of missionary labour had been commenced, 
such as week-day and Sunday schools, Sabbath 


services, weekly meetings for prayer and exhortation ; 
a church too had been formed, and every village was 
under the care of a teacher, who was authorized to 
preach. I took up my abode in the centre of the 
district. Daily attendance at the children's school, 
a class in the afternoon for the young men, who were 
ashamed to rank among the children; a weekly 
lecture in some part of the district; a day spent 
entirely with my teachers and preachers ; a prayer- 
meeting on Saturday afternoon ; preaching three 
times, visiting the Sabbath-school, and riding, on an 
average, eight miles every Sabbath ; a meeting of the 
church members for prayer and exhortation once a 
month; the administration of the Lord's Supper on 
the first Sabbath of the month ; and a monthly mis- 
sionary prayer-meeting ; — these were among my prin- 
cipal duties during my first year of missionary life in 
Samoa. Mrs. Turner had a meeting once a week 
with the women of the district, took a class at the 
Sunday-school, and had also a daily class of girls. 

Whether I would or not, I was obliged to turn 
out " Graham's Domestic Medicine," and become 
head doctor of the district. Day after day I had 
twenty, thirty, or fifty calls for advice and medicine. 
I appointed an hour, morning and afternoon, for the 
purpose, and, by making a small charge of something 
useful to the servants, such as a hank of cinet, or a 
few taro roots, for a dose of medicine, I was able to 
keep the rush and inconvenience within bounds. A 
little surgical knowledge which I had picked up from 
a session at the anatomy class in the Andersonian 



University of Glasgow, was all of service ; I only 
wished that it had been more. One gets cut and 
mangled in a quarrel, another falls from a tree, a 
third has his leg nearly bitten off by a shark, and 
when such poor sufferers are carried and laid at your 
door by their distressed friends you must do some- 
thing. I often wished, also, that I had attended to 
obstetric practice before leaving home, and would 
strongly advise all young men preparing for mission- 
ary work among a heathen people, to devote a year 
or two at least almost exclusively to such matters. 
On one occasion I got some vaccine lymph, and by 
attending to it for two or three months, succeeded 
in getting every man, woman, and child in the district 
vaccinated. My brother missionaries did the same. 
We have kept on vaccinating as often as we could in 
subsequent years, and to that as a means it is pro- 
bably to be traced that we have never had small 
pox* in the group. Vessels have called having the 
disease on board, but Ave have never had a case 
among the natives. 

About the time to which I refer, the novelty of 
the new religion had passed away. Many began to 
prefer a sleep to a second religious service on the 
Sabbath, a gossip instead of the school for reading ; 
and it was common to stay away from a week-day 
service if it happened to come in the way of a fish- 

* This has been a fearful scourge in some parts of the Pacific, 
where the natives have not been vaccinated. I know an instance 
where it laid a third of the entire population of an island in the 


ing excursion. I made a number of the people of 
our village stare one afternoon by refusing a present 
of fish because they had been taken when all ought 
to have been with me at a religious service. " No, 
I cannot receive them ; you did wrong in neglecting 
the service, and were I to receive the fish, it would 
be like sharing with you in the fruits of sin." 

Speaking of presents, I may remark, that upon 
the whole the people were kind to us, and often 
brought presents of fish and taro, which, in their 
politeness, they called food for our servants. They 
wished us to send and let them know when we were 
short, but that was contrary to the grain. I said, 
" No, you know that we are here, and here for your 
benefit ; if you choose to bring us anything of the 
kind as a free-will offering, we receive it ; if not we 
can do without it ; we never beg." Hardly a day 
passed without some one or another coming with a 
basket of fish or taro, as a proof that we were not 
forgotten, and that our labours were valued. An 
English family could not have made use of a twen- 
tieth part of what we had as payment for medicine 
and presents from the people; but, as we had to 
keep an almost fabulous number of servants, nothing 
was lost. 

People in England can hardly understand it, but 
it is a fact, that we were obliged, almost all the years 
we were in Samoa, to have regularly six male and 
six female servants. They considered it an honour 
and a privilege to come and live with us, and, as 
they did not expect any heavy remuneration, we let 


them come to the extent of a dozen. We gave them, 
on an average, thirty shillings each per annnm, 
Samoan valne, in calico or clothing. They had also 
some little perquisites, snch as a copy gratis of every 
new book issned from the press, etc. Bnt I imagine 
some people saying, " Whatever did you do with a 
dozen of servants ?" With English conveniences 
and a cool climate, two good servants could do all 
that the dozen did ; one, for instance, draws water, 
and he thinks that is quite enough for his business ; 
another milks and takes care of the cow ; another 
attends to the horse ; another seeks fire-wood and 
heats the oven, and so on ; the in and out-door work 
has to be portioned out a little to each, so that all 
have plenty of time and liberty to attend to instruc- 
tion, call upon their friends, help them with any 
work in hand, or fish for an hour or two. A Samoan 
is very independent : he prefers liberty to money ; any 
attempt to force him to do more than he feels in- 
clined, would only cause him to turn on his heel 
and say, "Good-bye, I'm going." It would have 
been pleasanter to have had fewer servants, but as 
they were easily kept, seemed happy, and were evi- 
dently benefitted by their residence with us, we got 
reconciled to it. Mutual attachments were formed, 
and parties were raised up now and then among 
our domestics, who have proved useful members of 
society, and, in some instances, valuable Christian 

The undue interference of native chiefs with 
religious affairs has to be guarded against, particu- 


larly in the early stages of missionary work. Having 
been accustomed to take everything of importance into 
their own hand, and legislate accordingly, it comes 
quite natural to them to wish to have their say in the 
arrangements made by the missionary for schools and 
other services. Thinking, no doubt, that it would 
please me, the chiefs in one part of my district made 
a law that every man who did not appear at the six 
o'clock morning- school for reading and prayer should 
be fined in a quantity of cooked taro, fish, and other 
eatables. The chiefs like anything of that sort that 
brings in a fine; some are sure to transgress, and 
then the old senators are quite in their element feast- 
ing over the fines. Whenever I heard what had been 
done, I sent a message to the chiefs, begging them 
to confine their legislation to other matters, and 
leave all at liberty to search the Scriptures and 
worship God, or the contrary, just as they pleased, 
as it was to God and not to man all were at length 
to be called to give an account of their reception or 
rejection of the gospel. 

It was the same in building a chapel, viz., a dis- 
position to impose fines and penalties on all who did 
not assist. We begged, however, in this case also, 
to claim an exception ; adding, that we wished it to 
be said in the erection of our churches, as was said of 
old in the days of David, that the chiefs and people 
" offered willingly." 

These occasional interferences with established 
usages were taken in good part, and were useful 
opportunities of imparting instruction, and teaching 


right principles, as the following incident farther 
illustrates. On looking ont one afternoon, I saw all 
the grown-up people of the village coming and sit- 
ting down before the door. They all looked very- 
demure, and I wondered what was up. Presently 
one of the old men commenced speechifying. " We 
have been talking about your horse which has got a 
lame foot, and which is supposed to have been stoned 
by some one. We wish to know who has done it, 
but all deny, and we cannot find out. It is our 
custom when anything is concealed, for all to 
assemble and take an oath. That is our plan. Will 
you please to hand out a Bible, and let us all swear 
here, that we may know who is the guilty party ?" 
It was their custom thus to assemble, and each lay- 
ing his hand on the sacred stone, or shell, or cup, 
which might be considered the representative of the 
god, to implore vengeance and speedy death, if he 
touched the stone and told a lie. Of course I 
thanked them for their respect for my nag Tom, but 
told them that such imprecations were wrong, and 
that the simple yea or nay in such a case was quite 
sufficient. They were satisfied, and by and by it 
appeared that the horse was lame not from a stone, 
but from rheumatism. 

Before setting my foot on missionary ground, I 
had some serious apprehensions as to how a Pres- 
byterian might be able to co-operate in the same 
mission with Congregationalists ; but soon my fears 
were driven to the winds. A few days after my 
arrival in Samoa, I was present at a half-yearly 


general meeting of the mission, and fonnd that it 
was perhaps as Presbyterian and Synodical as the 
case requires. The assembled missionaries all 
unitedly deliberate, vote and settle by a majority 
everything of importance. Following the order of 
seniority, one acts as secretary for twelve months, 
recording all that is done, answering correspondence, 
and transmitting a copy of the minutes to the Direc- 
tors of the Missionary Society in London. The 
retiring secretary acts as chairman, or moderator, 
for the next twelve months. All this goes on har- 
moniously, and, without interfering with the order 
and government of individual churches, this united 
and frequent conference of brethren on their com- 
mon work, secures, not only unity of plan in the 
mission generally, but a great deal of uniformity in 
the more minute affairs of individual churches and 
congregations. For obvious reasons, the natives, 
for the present at least, take no part in these 
general meetings. They are not yet prepared to 
deliberate or vote on many points of importance 
affecting translations, location of missionaries, and 
other matters which are entrusted by the Directors 
to the exclusive control of their agents. 

In the management of individual churches, cases 
of discipline, for instance, admissions, exclusions, 
etc., the missionary is left to the exercise of his own 
judgment, whether to settle them by a court con- 
sisting of all the church members, or whether to 
arrange matters in a more private assembly of 
the preaching teachers of the district. I adopted 


the latter plan, consulted first with my fifteen 
teachers, stated at the next monthly prayer-meeting 
of the church members what we thought to be right, 
and asked them to signify by a show of hands their 
approval, or the contrary. The church members 
had entire confidence in these prior decisions, and 
never opposed them. 

On looking further at my position ecclesiastically, 
I found that I had actually become a sort of bishop. 
There was no avoiding it ; my fifteen teaching and 
preaching curates were, as all native teachers neces- 
sarily are in an infant mission, perfect babes in 
religious knowledge and experience, and looked up 
to me to decide in everything affecting doctrine or 
discipline, or the selection of new teachers, and many 
other matters. While presiding at our meetings, I 
endeavoured to make them all think, give their 
opinion, and lift their hands in a vote ; but I could 
easily see that they looked on me as their superior, 
and thab their main anxiety was to know what I 
thought, and vote accordingly. 

A missionary bishop is thus not only called to 
rule well, but he must labour hard "in word and 
doctrine." I felt my position to be one of great 
responsibility. Here I was the mainspring of influ- 
ence to the entire district, and so destined to be a 
blessing or the reverse, as my instructions and 
advices might be in accordance with the divine will, 
or the contrary. As I have already remarked, in 
enumerating other duties, I met with my staff of 
teachers and preachers once a week, gave them a 


skeleton of a sermon for the following Sabbath, 
which each copied ; expounded a passage of Scrip- 
ture as a further help for the Sabbath; received 
reports of anything of importance transpiring in the 
villages, and advised accordingly; and, in addition, 
spent an hour in the common day-school work of 
teaching these big men correct reading, writing, 
arithmetic, and some of the simple outlines of geo- 
graphy and astronomy. People in England hearing 
of a native teacher and preacher, are apt to think of 
an educated man, fully qualified for the work which 
his name indicates ; but such is by no means always 
the case. If it is an infant mission, where no insti- 
tution for training native teachers has been in ope- 
ration, they are likely to be at the very bottom of the 
scale of literary acquirements. Take, for example, 
the teachers in the district where I commenced my 
labours in Samoa : if I asked them to write down on 
a slate fifteen, three-fourths of them would write 
X5, or perhaps 105. That, too, is a fair specimen of 
what they were in Bible knowledge. At that early 
stage, also, it is common to find out that the 
strangest errors have been made, and propagated as 
Scripture truth. I discovered one day that some of 
the teachers had been preaching up and down the 
district, giving poor Nebuchadnezzar a tail, snout, 
and hoof, and declaring that he had been actually 
changed into a real four-footed beast ! 

ISTor are such misunderstandings and specimens 
of imperfect knowledge to be wondered at. Where 
could the instruction come from ? These men have 


grown up in heathenism. They have but just been 
converted. They have the gift of utterance, seem 
anxious to tell their fellow-creatures that Christ 
died to save them, and are selected by the missionary 
as the best he can get to take the oversight of a 
village, conduct religious services, and do what he 
can in teaching the people to read. My teachers 
being so much scattered, I could only assemble them 
once a week for instruction. This I found very 
inadequate to meet the case. To take in the sermon 
and lecture, was about as much as they could attend 
to properly in the one day. Their advanced age 
was also against them, so that much of what I gave 
them in the more secular class was forgotten before 
another week. I kept it up regularly, however, and 
some made encouraging progress. 

Finding that a number of my teachers were in 
the habit of smoking tobacco, and tasting the native 
intoxicating beverage called ava, when they were 
offered it, as a matter of courtesy, on a Sabbath-day 
on going out to preach, I begged them to take my 
advice, and give up both of them. They all agreed 
to drink no more ava, but three or four seemed 
determined to hold to the tobacco. I asked their 
reasons. One said he smoked just because he liked 
it. Another said that when they eat a hearty meal, 
a smoke kept all right. And another said it made 
them warm and comfortable about the face when 
they went out in the early morning to fish. It is 
astonishing to what an extent the love of tobacco 
spreads among these native races. Almost the 


entire community seemed mad after it, down even to 
little boys and girls. You would see the little urchin 
walking along to the school with his miniature cigar 
lighted, and puffing it out with acquired dexterity 
from mouth and nostrils. At the chapel door he 
would have three or four extra draws, throw away 
the last of the leaf, and then dart into his class, 
thinking it manly to perfume the place, and show 
that he could smoke tobacco. Nursing women, too, 
were, I believe, killing their children by it. As the 
habit was thus going beyond all bounds, it seemed 
necessary that a check should be put upon it, and 
that it should not be sanctioned and encouraged by 
the example of the teacher. It was the opinion of 
the majority of the teachers that they, as a body, 
should give up smoking as well as ava drinking. I 
thought so too, wrote out on a sheet of paper a 
pledge to give up both, and all at once signed, with 
the exception of three inveterates. I gave them 
another week to consider it, and at last they signed. 
I heard afterwards that they met the night before to 
talk over it ; at length they determined to sign, but 
first of all to have a farewell smoke, and they had 
a smoke. I marked these three men in my own 
mind at the time, and subsequently my suspicions 
were more than confirmed. They proved themselves 
to be utterly unworthy of the confidence which had 
been placed in them, and had to be dismissed from 
the church and the teacher ship. 




The inefficiency of onr native teachers was felt by all. 
Each missionary did what he could to improve those 
under his jurisdiction, and to raise up a few others ; 
but as each had his share in Scripture translations, 
and a scattered district of three, four, or five thou- 
sand people to attend to, it was found impracticable 
in that way to meet the necessities of the case. In 
Samoa alone, apart from our outposts in other 
islands, we require a native agency of about two 
hundred. It was therefore decided, at a general 
meeting of the members of the mission, held in 
March, 1844, that Mr. Hardie and myself should be 
appointed to commence an educational institution, 
embracing a more extensive plan than had previ- 
ously been attempted for raising up a better native 

We at once took up the work, removed from our 
stations, fixed upon a central situation, bought from 
the natives about twenty-five acres of land, and by 
the 24th of September opened our first class, and 
dedicated to Glod, by prayer, the interests of the 
institution, which has since been called by the name 
of the Samoan Mission Seminar//. 


We commenced with a mixed class of 25, vary- 
ing in ages from ten to twenty. In the following 
year, a more select class of 21 was formed, consist- 
ing of young men from various parts of the group. 
In most instances they had been teachers, and were 
chosen by the missionaries as parties most likely to 
improve and be useful. As our students began to 
go out at the end of a four years' course of instruc- 
tion, the demand became universal for young men 
from the institution ; and, as we had always plenty 
of candidates for admission, we had no difficulty in 
filling up vacancies. From year to year we made 
steady progress, and at the end of our fifteenth year, 
just before I left, our statistics stood as follows : — 
Sent by the missionaries from various parts of the 
group, young men to the number of 263 ; of these, 
25 are dead, and, with three doubtful exceptions, 
finished their course with joy ; 18 were dismissed, 
but are giving evidence of reformation; 14 have 
been laid aside as failing in health or qualifications ; 
5 are among a class which we are sorry to designate 
fallen and bad ; 70 are now under instruction in the 
institution, preparing for the work of the ministry ; 
and 131 are now labouring either in Samoa or 
in some of the rising missions to the westward. 
Those who are familiar with the statistics of such 
institutions, in any part of the world, will, I am 
sure, conclude from this statement that my brother 
missionaries have been remarkably careful in the 
selection of the young men they have sent to the 


It is more difficult to trace the members of the 
youths' class, which we have endeavoured to carry on 
in connection with the instruction of the teachers ; 
but of the 154 who have been received since the 
commencement, I may say, in a general way, that 
some are dead, some have become teachers, eighteen 
of them are now in the teachers' class in the insti- 
tution, others are steady and longing to return to 
the institution for further instruction, and others, 
though careless, are still nominally the friends of the 
cause of God, and may yet, like Saul of Tarsus, turn 
their early education to good account. I heard one 
day of a youth of this last class, who, in a discussion 
with a Roman Catholic priest, was considered by the 
natives present to have the better side of the contro- 
versy. He simply took his stand on the New Testa- 
ment, and defied his opponent to prove from that 
volume that there is any authority for praying to the 
Virgin Mary. 

Marriage prevents admission to many of our home 
colleges ; it is not so at ourSamoan Mission Seminary. 
If we have the choice of tA\ r o we reject the single man, 
and admit the married couple, for the simple reason 
that the wife needs education as well as her husband, 
and, when instructed, is a great blessing to her sex 
in the village where he may be called to labour. 
"We want a young man who has a wife that can 
teach our wives and daughters something," is some- 
times the adjunct to an application for a village 
pastor. As many as 200 names of young women, 
the wives of teachers, are on the list since the 


commencement, and of these 50 are now in the 

The children also come with the parents, and 
of these we have had in all 402. We have a school 
for them daily, conducted by two of the teachers a 
month at a time, and many of these dear children 
will look back, in after years, with sunny recollec- 
tions of the days spent at Malua. 

Then there have been always with us a few 
natives of other groups in the Pacific. Some have 
wandered to our islands in whaling and other ships, 
but the most of them were brought by our missionary 
vessel, and taken home again after a time. Of this 
class we have had natives of New Caledonia, Mare, 
Lifu, Tanna, Yate, Eromanga, Tokelau, Manahiki, 
and Savage Island, up to the number of 52. And 
this gives us an aggregate of upwards of a thousand 
individuals, who either are now or have been con- 
nected with the Samoan Mission Seminary. The 
number in the institution, just before I left, was 
70 teachers, 50 women, the wives of teachers, 36 
Samoan youths and strangers from other groups, 
who, with 98 children, make up an aggregate 
of 254. 

For the mission to have been at the sole expense 
of boarding and lodging all these parties would have 
required an immense outlay. But even if the means 
had been at our disposal, we saw no reason why the 
missionary funds of the British churches should be 
spent in doing that which, by a little management, 
the natives themselves could do. We therefore 


determined to keep up the agricultural habits of the 
young men, and throw the care of providing for the 
wants of their table entirely on themselves. The 
plan has worked admirably. With the exception of 
the first year, when the land was being laid under 
cultivation, the students have been amply provided 
for from their own resources, and that without inter- 
fering much more with their studies than is essential 
for the good of their health. 

When we were in search for a site on which to 
erect our own institution premises, the chiefs and 
people in various places were so anxious to have us 
in their neighbourhood, that they offered us, free of 
any charge, as much land as we pleased. " Here is 
our village," said a chief, "just say the word, and we 
shall all clear off to another place, and let you have 
the entire settlement." We did not, however, wish 
to disturb people in that way, or to take a grant of 
land open to subsequent disputes, and so we fixed 
on a spot on the coast — quite a bush, and away 
from any settlement, which we could easily purchase 
and secure as mission property. We called together 
the owners of the land, marked off about twenty- 
five acres, and paid for it in calico and hardware. 
Subsequently, as our numbers increased, we added 
twenty-five acres more. The entire cost of the 
land was £28 3s. lid. ; that is to say, about lis. 
per acre English value, or £1 5s. per acre Samoan 

We commenced operations with but two small 
native cottages, and have gone on gradually adding 


house to house, principally by the industry of the 
students themselves, until now, when we can show 
nineteen cottages, 16 by 32 feet, arranged something 
like a barrack square, as a naval officer called it one 
day, with a substantial stone-walled class-room in 
the centre of one of the sides, 60 feet by 30, and 
fitted up with desks, black boards, and other con- 
veniences. My fellow-tutor and I reside in stone 
cottages, which were erected by the paid labour of 
the natives from the adjacent villages. Including 
the original cost of the land, a suit of clothes annu- 
ally to all, tools, stationery, etc., the entire expendi- 
ture for fifteen years has been £570, or an annual 
average of £38 ; and for this we can show, not only 
the statistics of the instructed to which I have re- 
ferred, but also the twenty houses, together with 
fifty acres of land, stocked, as the result of the stu- 
dents' industry, with 1021 bread-fruit trees, and 
678 cocoa-nut trees, all bearing, and a third more 
coming on. 

Every student has a plot of ground which he 
cultivates as his own, and each has his share of 
bread-fruit and cocoa-nut trees. He works regularly 
at his plantation, raising yams, taro, and bananas till 
the day he leaves, and the student who succeeds him 
becomes heir to all he has left.* 

* To a limited extent they are allowed to sell, for their own 
benefit, their surplus produce, and this, with the clothing which 
we give them, supplies them from year to year with all they want, 
without being dependent on their friends for anything, while they 
are going on with their education. 



Our principal current expenses are for tools, 
stationery, and a suit of cotton garments annually. 
The whole amounts to about £50, and that entire 
sum has been recently met by the combined efforts 
of the children of the Sunday-schools in connection 
with Mr. Miller's church in Hobart Town. So that 
now, with the occasional gifts of kind friends who 
are interested in our work, and this noble effort of 
the children in Hobart Town, I expect that our 
institution will go on, under God's blessing, from 
year to year, without our having to draw a penny 
more for its support from the general funds of the 
London Missionary Society. 

The institution bell rings at dawn. After their 
devotions, the students all go out to fish, or do plan- 
tation work, whichever they please. At eight the bell 
rings again to call them all in to bathe, have break- 
fast, and be ready for the first class at nine. With 
short intervals they are entirely occupied with classes, 
copying lectures, etc., until four in the afternoon, 
when they again disperse, to the lagoon, or the plan- 
tations, or the carpenter's workshop, as their tastes 
or necessities incline them. After family prayer they 
generally spend their evenings in reading, writing, 
or conversation on the day's classes. At half-past 
nine p.m. the bell rings the curfew, and all retire 
for the night. 

Wednesday is what we call our industrial day, 
and, until two o'clock, is specially devoted to im- 
provements about the premises. House-building, 
sawing, weather-boarding, fencing, burning lime, 


stone and mortar work, and other such employments, 
are all reserved for that day. In the afternoon of 
this industrial day all meet for a Scripture exposition, 
and, while the young men are at work in the early 
part of the day, I have embraced the opportunity 
of having a class with their wives. The main 
instruction of them, of course, devolves .on the 

A Saturday evening prayer- meeting in the insti- 
tution chapel closes the week, and on this occasion 
the students in turn deliver an address in the hear- 
ing of their tutors. The Sabbath is ushered in 
by a prayer-meeting at six o'clock. At half-past 
eight there is the morning service, which is at- 
tended by church members and others from neigh- 
bouring villages, forming a congregation of about 
400. At ten all the members of the institution 
meet in family groups, for prayer and conversation 
about the sermon. At eleven the children are 
assembled for a Sunday-school. At two there 
is an adult Bible-class. At half-past three an after- 
noon service, after which all again meet in family 
groups for family prayer and conversation about 
the sermon. 

* Our institution rules forbid quarrelling, the use of tobacco, 
going anywhere without permission, lights after a certain hour, 
night-fishing, and a few other things adapted to the circum- 
stances of the place and people. The fines are one shilling each, 
and most rigidly kept up, as the students themselves get the 
benefit of them. With the fines they buy oil, and that, with 
what they make themselves, keeps each supplied with a light for 
his room all the year over. 


The evening is also spent in religious con- 
versation, Scripture reading, and prayer. On Sab- 
bath evenings, I allowed any of the students to 
attend a service which I had with our servants, 
and every evening the room was crowded. I 
found this a useful service, not only as a duty 
to our domestics, but as a pattern to the teachers 
how to improve their Sabbath evenings. A ques- 
tion of the catechism, with Scripture proofs, or 
a section of Bunyan, and a chapter of the Bible, 
read verse about, and simply explained and ap- 
plied, together with singing and prayer, well and 
happily occupied our Sabbath evening hour. On 
the first Sabbath of the month we have the 
ordinance of the Lord's Supper, and on the 
first Monday of the month a missionary prayer- 

In dividing our labours and arranging our de- 
partments of instruction in 1844, it was agreed that 
my fellow- tutor, Mr. Hardie,* attend to systematic 
theology, church history, arithmetic, and geography ; 
and that I take up Scripture exposition, practical 
theology, or the work of the Christian ministry, 
Scripture history, writing and composition, and na- 
tural philosophy. We both arranged also to de- 

* Mr. Hardie retired from the Samoan Mission a few years 
ago. His place in the Mission Seminary was for a time filled 
by the late lamented Rev. George Stallworthy. On the death 
of Mr. Stallworthy, last year, the Rev. H. Nisbet, my fellow- 
labonrer in former years at Tanna, received the appointment, and 
was removed from his station on Savaii to the institution. 

I. Grave of Mrs. Paton and her infant Son. 

Page 480. 


Page 132. 

I. Grave of the Rev. George Stallworthy. 2. Grave of Mrs. Diummond, of Glasgow. 3. Graves of Fanny Hardie, and 
of the infant Children of the Rev. Messrs. Nisbet and Ella. 4. Graves of Native Children and others connected with 
the Institution. 


vote a little time to tlie elements of the English 

In conducting my classes, I endeavoured to 
attend to two things — first, to see that the young 
men understood what was explained in class ; and, 
secondly, to secure its being remembered. The 
former, I think, was effected by questioning the 
young men well on the previous lecture, and by 
allowing them to ask any further explanation of 
what they did not understand. This they did freely, 
and hardly let anything pass ; but it was more diffi- 
cult to secure the latter. Students in England not 
only find it easy to take copious notes, but they 
have in their possession printed text-books, com- 
mentaries, and many other works of reference, with 
fixed names and phrases for every department of 
science. It was not so in Samoa when I commenced 
my tutorial labours. The entire literature of my 
first class of students was three Gospels and an 
Epistle, the History of Joseph, some Scripture 
Lessons, and a few miscellaneous pieces in a small 
native magazine, which we had commenced. I 
found it necessary, therefore, to put all my instruc- 
tions carefully in a compact written form, and to 
let the young men have a separate copy, from which 
to write out as much as they could, to take with 
them when they left the institution, as a help to the 
memory and for future reference. 

For fifteen years I have continued to give out 
to the students copies of my notes and lectures, at 
an average, during the most of that time, of twelve 


pages per week, and the result of my labours I may 
state as follows :— 

1. A consecutive Scripture narrative from the crea- 

tion to the times of the Apostles, including a 
history of Jewish affairs in the interval be- 
tween the latest Old Testament times and the 
days of our Saviour. 

2. Comments, expository and practical, on the 

Gospel of Matthew. 

3. Ditto, ditto, on the Gospel of Mark, 
on the Gospel of Luke, 
on the Acts of the Apostles, 
on the Epistle to the Komans. 
on the Epistle to the Galatians. 
on the Epistle to the Hebrews, 
on the entire Book of Psalms. 

Lectures on the Work of the Ministry after the 
model of Bridges. 

11. Notes on Bunyan's Pilgrim. 

12. Translation of " Scripture Facts in Simple Lan- 

guage," by the author of the " Peep of Day ;" 
fifty-two in all. These Scripture Facts, notes 
on Bunyan, and also a series of 112 maxims on 
parental duty, were subjects taken up in a 
class which I had with the wives of the 
teachers, on the Wednesday, while their hus- 
bands were engaged in industrial affairs. 
These women were also furnished with paper, 
and copied everything carefully which was 
given to them. 


Ditto, ditto, 


Ditto, ditto, 


Ditto, ditto, 


Ditto, ditto, 


Ditto, ditto, 


Ditto, ditto, 


Lectures on t 


13. Elements of natural philosophy. 

14. Sketches of sermons, to the extent of 2640 


15. Commenced and progressing with a Biblical 


These things which I have just enumerated re- 
quired me to write in all 11,520 pages, of which 
I gave out to the students to copy 6955. At the 
end of his four years' course, a student took with 
him about 2000 pages of lectures and notes. 

But why not print these things, and save all that 
laborious copying ? That is now being done. From 
the first I have endeavoured to make all my class 
preparations the groundwork of future publications ; 
and of the manuscripts which I have just enumerated, 
there are already in print : — " The Elements of 
Astronomy," "The Scripture History," the Com- 
mentaries on Matthew, the Acts, and the Epistle to 
the Hebrews, and also the Lectures on the Work of 
the Ministry, amounting in all to 950 pages of 12mo 

Few can understand but those who have it to 
do, the amount of labour in getting up such works 
as these. I spent five hours a-day, on an average, 
in my study all the years I was in the islands. 
Before obtaining these 950 pages of letterpress, 
for example, I have had the prior labour of writing 
5300 pages of manuscript. After being prepared 
for the press, all such works, according to a rule 
in our mission, are first submitted to the inspec- 


tion of a committee of at least two of the mis- 
sionaries, and then they are printed. We give 
a copy of each gratis to the students of the 
institution and native agents throughout the 
group, and sell the rest to pay expenses, at the 
rate of Is., Is. 6d., or 2s., according to the size of 
the book.* 

A connected commentary on a gospel or an 
epistle is, at this infant stage of their literature, of 
great value to our native agents. Before they had 
such helps, they could hardly venture to expound 
more than the single verse of the text, of which they 
might have a skeleton from the missionary. With 
the aid of their printed commentaries, or written 
notes, they can now with confidence write out a 
skeleton of their own, or expound a gospel, or an 
epistle, from beginning to end. Intelligent church 
members, too, value these Scripture comments. 
They buy them up as soon as they are printed, and 
take a pleasure in being able to form an opinion on 
the correctness, or otherwise, of the expositions of 

* Some of these works are out of print, but I am commis- 
sioned by my brethren to carry through the press, while I am 
in this country, new editions, of 3000 each, of the Commentaries 
on Matthew, Acts, and Hebrews, and also an edition of the 
Scripture History. All are to be illustrated, if possible, with 
such useful maps and woodcuts, as the ample resources of the 
London Religious Tract Society and Sunday-school Union can 
afford. In the first editions, printed on the islands, we were 
aided by liberal grants of paper from these noble institutions ; 
and now that second editions are wanted, I have no doubt they 
will do all in their power to further our wishes. 


Scripture given by their village pastors. These 
facilities for the spread of intelligence among the 
hearers has a good effect also on the pulpit. The 
preachers find that if they do not rise and keep up 
to the mark of correct instruction, that they will 
soon hear of it in the whispers, or louder talk, of 
daily gossip. 

It must not, however, be supposed that the 
young men sent out from the institution, after a 
four years' course of instruction, are all that is 
necessary for their work. It is but a distant ap- 
proximation. They are still far from the mark of 
Christian experience and intelligence which it is 
desirable to reach, but which cannot be reasonably 
expected either in this or in the next generation. 
I may, perhaps, best illustrate this by a fact or 
two : I devote an hour every day to the profit- 
able exercise of hearing and answering questions 
out of class. At two p.m. any one who wishes 
information on any subject is at liberty to come 
to my study privately for a few minutes ; and at 
that hour there may be seen waiting their turn 
at my study-door, ten, fifteen, or twenty of the 
young men. The following are some of their 
questions, given almost as I noted them one day 
out of curiosity : — 

1. What is the meaning of the bottomless pit ? 

2. What is meant by tears put in Grod's bottle ? 

3. Why did Christ ask the lame man whether he 

believed ; did he not know ? 


4. What is meant by the body going whole to 


5. If a person calls me while I am at prayer, should 

I answer him ? 

6. What does plucking out a right eye mean ? 

7. Why does Paul say to the Corinthians that 

things offered to idols are not to be eaten ; and 
to Timothy he says, every creature of God is 
good ? 

8. If we feel sleepy at prayer, should we open our 


9. What is meant by the two daughters of the 

horse-leech ? 

10. Why is Athaliah called the daughter of Omri, as 

well as the daughter of Ahab ? 

11. How tall was Zaccheus ; how many feet do you 

suppose ? 

12. Why could not the wise men of Babylon read the 

writing on the wall ? 

13. If people go out to fish at night, should they 

have prayer in the canoe at daylight ? 

14. What is meant by hillmg the passover ? 

15. What is meant by the evening and morning in 

Genesis being called a day ? 

16. If Christ knew that Judas was bad at heart, why 

did he not put him down ? 

17. What is the meaning of cymbal? Is it an 

animal, or what ? 

18. Should people shave their beards on the Sabbath- 

day ? 

19. Is it right to beat a child on the Sabbath-day ? 


20. If we are repairing a chapel, is it right to take 

our dinner inside ? 

21. "What is the meaning of people being measured 

with lines, in 2 Samuel viii. 2 ? 

22. What is meant by Satan falling from heaven ? 

23. What is meant by saluting no man by the 

way ? 

24. Did Isaiah live before Christ, or after him ? 

25. Is Joseph of Arimathea the same as the Joseph 

who was sold by his brethren ? 

We find it difficult to hammer chronology into 
the minds of the natives, as the last two questions 
indicate ; and it lately occurred to me, that perhaps 
we ourselves have increased the difficulty, by print- 
ing the New Testament before the Old. Time, how- 
ever, will remove this. 

I need hardly add, that sometimes I was amused 
with their questions ; at other times I was pleased 
to see indications of close reading and careful think- 
ing; and now and then I was startled with their 
ignorance, and felt that it was one of my most 
difficult tasks, with some of them, to dive down to 
the depths of it. 

When the young men leave the institution they 
return to the missionary who sent them, and are 
located each in some particular village. There they 
conduct schools, preach, and in some cases are ap- 
pointed to baptize the children of church members, 
and administer the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. 
For the present, the admission or exclusion of 


clmrcli members is left to a meeting of the church 
members and teachers, at which a missionary can 
preside. To a great extent, however, the mis- 
sionary, in voting for the admission of new members, 
acts upon the united report of the teacher and 
church members of the village to which the party- 

Our native agents will, we trust, eventually 
be fit to take the care of the churches entirely 
on themselves. It will be many years yet, however, 
before they can be safely intrusted with such weighty 
responsibilities. But the work is going on. The 
Scriptures have been completed ; every year is 
adding to the religious and other literature of the 
people ; and we trust also that, from year to year, 
the systematic education of the native teachers will 
be carried on with all the earnestness which, under 
Divine blessing, is essential to reach that standard 
of intelligence and usefulness in our native agents 
at which we aim. 

Considering the number gathered together in 
our institution, from all parts of the group, I 
often wondered that they lived together so har- 
moniously. Next to the Divine blessing, and 
strict rules, our main dependence, in securing 
peace and friendship, was to keep all so fully em- 
ployed as to prevent their having time for trifling 
and strife. 

It is but right also to add, that the marked 
respect which the students uniformly showed to 
ourselves, tended much to lighten our burden, and 



cheer us in our work. We had often letters, too, 
from those who had been with us in past years, 
fall of affectionate remembrance and expressions of 
gratitude, which we felt to be ample returns for all 
the pains we took in instructing them. 




Among my institution duties I embodied private 
conversation with the students. He whose turn it 
was to deliver the address at the prayer-meeting on 
the Saturday evening, came to my study on the fol- 
lowing Monday, and I had then an opportunity of 
dropping a few encouraging words, or admonitory 
hints, as the case might require. On these occa- 
sions I often felt much interested in accounts given 
me by the young men of their early history, and, in 
several instances, got them to commit to writing 
some of the facts elicited in the course of conver- 

It will be interesting, I am sure, to many to 
observe the similarity of corrupt human nature in all 
parts of the earth, and to mark the proofs which 
the few instances which I shall now give afford, 
that there is one and the same Divine Spirit at 
work in the human mind, in conversion, all the 
world over. It will be manifest also that God, in 
Samoa, as well as elsewhere, calls forth his servants 
from every variety of character and circumstance. 

I might fill a volume with the autobiographical 
notices to which I refer, but I must be contented 
with a few condensed extracts. I shall give them, as 


near as I can, in the translated words of the young 
men themselves, omitting here and there things of 
minor importance. 

1. "I was once," says one, " dark and ignorant. 
I cared for nothing but the body. When Sabbath 
came round I delighted in it, because there was no 
particular work to do, and I could sleep all day if I 
pleased. I hardly ever went to the chapel or to a 
school. I lived like a beast of the field, without any 
thought of futurity. By and by I was taken ill. I 
could not walk, and my arms were crooked, I could 
not stretch them out. I felt alarmed, and thought it 
must be a judgment from God, as I had been away 
in the bush the Sabbath before, with other lads, 
stoning birds. I recovered, and away went my fears. 
I lived just as before. Then my brother came and 
talked to me about my wickedness, and entreated me 
to turn to Grod. I told him to leave it with me. Two 
months after he came again, reasoned with me, and 
begged me fco tell him why I would not turn from 
sin. I said I did not wish to lose my companions. 
He then asked what my companions could do for me 
in sickness and death. I thought that was true, for 
I had often been ill, and lay alone, as they seldom 
looked near me. I thought my brother was right 
after all, and began to think in earnest about life in 
heaven. I had learned to read when I was a little 
boy, and now felt the advantage of it. I commenced 
reading the Bible, and felt interested. When Sab- 
bath came, I felt less inclination to sleep, and a real 
desire to read and go to chapel. About this time I 


was roused more than ever, and alarmed by a sermon 
from a teacher on the text, ' Woe unto him that 
striveth with his Maker.' I knew that I had been 
striving against God, and that I had done, over and 
over again, what he forbad. I was dreadfully afraid, 
but found Christ who died for sinners, and was, in 
course of time, received into the Church." 

2. Another wrote as follows : — " When the Word 
of God was first brought to Samoa, I attended the 
schools, learned to read and write, and for a long 
time was steady and a servant with the missionary, 
Mr. Slatyer. When he left I fell back into sin. 
War broke out, and I was drawn into it. I was at 
the battle of Safata, and three other fights. One 
day Mr. Murray visited our war- camp. He knew 
me well when I was steady. He asked what I was 
doing there. I said that I was just fighting with 
the rest of them, but that I hated it, and also that I 
did not forget God, and thanked him daily for sparing 
my life. Mr. Murray reminded me of what I had 
been taught in former happy days, and I made up 
my mind to break off from the war party, but I 
determined first of all to go with a number of others 
on a visit to the island of Tutuila. We went, and 
were caught in a gale. Ropes, mast, and sail were 
all blown useless, and we were drifted off to sea, we 
knew not where. The storm continued. Two nights 
and two days we were in the midst of it, our food 
gone, no appearance of land, and there we wept and 
wailed, and gave ourselves up as lost. I prayed 
earnestly to God to save us, and determined, that if 


my life was saved, ever after to devote it to God. 
The storm cleared off, we sighted land, pulled for 
the shore and were all saved. I thanked God, begged 
forgiveness of my sins through the blood of Christ, 
went to the teacher, conversed with him and gave in 
my name as a follower of the Lord." 

3. Another thus writes: " At the commencement 
of the mission, I was appointed a teacher, and 
laboured in four different villages. Afterwards I 
fell, and lived for years careless and worldly. After 
a time one of my children died, then another, and a 
third, and a fourth. My wife and I began to think 
that God was in this way punishing us for the neglect 
of his Word. I was struck, too, at this time with 
what the teacher said to me. He said that my chil- 
dren were safe in heaven, and that I might go to 
them, but they could never come to me. I deter- 
mined to go to them, and began afresh to seek sal- 
vation. I felt also a strong desire to devote the 
remainder of my days to the service of Christ. I am 
afraid lest I should again be drawn away into sin, 
but I try to keep close to my Saviour." 

4. Another related respecting himself as fol- 
lows : — " The first thing which roused me to think 
of my sins was a severe illness, but as I recovered I 
became careless again. After that my wife died. I 
was in great grief, and, as I looked down into her 
grave, I thought that that would soon be my road 
too, and felt alarmed to think that I was quite 
unprepared to die. I commenced to attend the 
chapel regularly, and from that time my desire 


to leave sin and serve the Lord continued to 

5. Another, a young man, the son of a teacher, 
who first came to the institution with his father, and 
who is now preparing for the work of the ministry 
himself, thus said respecting his conversion : "It 
was not any sickness that first led me to think of my 
sins and my Saviour, but the reading and exposition 
of God's Word, together with the teaching of his 
Holy Spirit. It was some time in 1853, when listen- 
ing in the class to the exposition of the Gospel of 
Mark, that I first felt love to Christ growing up in 
my heart. I prayed for the help of the Holy Spirit 
that my love to Christ might grow stronger and 
stronger, and that I might be kept from all sin. I 
felt that I was weak, and, like a young lamb, an easy 
prey to wild beasts if far away from the shepherd. 
The more I think of the vanity of vanities of which 
Solomon speaks, the more do I feel inclined to devote 
soul and body to the service of God." 

6. Another, who traces his conversion principally 
to the reading of God's Word, says : "I was long 
hardened and obstinate. I was with the troops 
during the most of the last war. I felt sick of the 
camp life, and after escaping in safety through five of 
the battles, I thought there was something peculiar in 
God's goodness to me in preserving my life. I then 
determined to break off from the war party, and set 
myself to the reading of God's Word to see what was 
in it. I caught a pig, sold it for money, and bought 
a New Testament. I then read about Christ — his 


coming into the world, his life, his miracles, and his 
death. Light broke in ; I wondered at such amazing 
love. I still feel dark and ignorant, but I am per- 
severing, and that good Spirit who led me to Christ 
will, I trust, continue to enlighten my dark mind." 

7. Another thus writes : " For years I was un- 
decided for God, but my wife gave me no rest. Ever 
since she became a church member (fifteen years ago) 
she has kept stedfast, and in my days of folly she 
never ceased to exhort me to repent and turn to the 
Lord. What Paul says about the unbelieving hus- 
band being sanctified by the wife, is fulfilled in my 
case. The hand of God also was laid on me. I was 
laid down and very ill, and then formed resolutions, 
that, if ever raised up again, I would live a new life. 
I recovered, and, ever since, I have tried to serve 
the Lord, and pray that I may be faithful unto 

8. Another, who became connected with the 
institution when he was a boy, related as follows : 
" But for my parents, I might have been bad enough. 
They watched me with great care. I was never 
allowed to go near a night -dance. If I happened to 
get off to the bush at any time with other boys, it 
was not long before there was a message from my 
father for me to go back, and play in front of the 
house. It was the same in the moonlight nights, I 
had to keep near the house. I learned to smoke, 
but my father did not know. He would have been 
angry had he known that. When my parents were 
appointed to go to the institution, I did not wish to 


go with them, and it was arranged that I was to 
remain behind, nnder the care of my uncle. But up 
conies a message to say that I must go, as the laws 
of the institution require that teachers who have 
children must assemble them also in the institution, 
to be taken care of and instructed. I had not been 
long on the premises until I felt a great desire to 
join the youths' class, and be allowed to attend the 
lectures. I made every effort, and prayed to God to 
help me, that I might be able to read any part of the 
Bible, and not be rejected when I applied. Great 
was my joy when I was received, and took my place 
in the class." 

This young man is still under instruction, and 
will, I trust, yet rank among our most useful 

9. Another case occurs to me, the very reverse of 
this in parental influence. "My father," says the 
narrator, " was a wicked old man. The Christian 
religion was set up in our village, but he was an 
enemy to it, and we, the children, had to comply 
with his wishes. As I grew up, it seemed to be my 
very trade to lie and steal; and the Sabbath I 
generally spent in hunting wild pigs. Then it hap- 
pened that I was taken very ill. My father and all 
the family were crying, and concluded I was dying. 
In my distress it occurred to me, as a last resort, to 
call upon God, and for the first time I prayed to the 
true God. Next morning I felt better, and con- 
tinued to recover. I now determined to give up 
heathenism, and serve the Lord. About that time 


I heard Mr. Hardie preach, and well remember his 
saying, ' Make haste and repent ; for if you do not, 
death will come, and then you can never obtain 
eternal life.' This made me all the more anxious to 
follow Christ. After a time war broke out. My 
father did all he could to get me off to the war. He 
first tried to coax and flatter me, praising my bright 
sharp eyes, which would make me the beauty of the 
corps, but this did not do. He then tried anger, 
and at last went off in a rage. My mind was made 
up. I was determined to hold on to Christ. In- 
stead of going to the war, I got up, put on a decent 
cloth, and joined a party of Church members and 
steady people who were going off to remonstrate and 
try to prevent fighting. For a long time I did not 
make it known formally to the teacher what a change 
had come over my mind. I thought it was enough, 
for the time, that God knew. People wondered and 
talked about it. They saw that I had begun to 
pray, attend schools on the week-days, and on the 
Sabbath just like a church member, and yet I was 
not one. By and by I opened my mind to the 
teacher, and, after a year or two, was received into 
the church. I am greatly delighted to add, that my 
old erring father seems now to be turning to the 
Saviour, too. I heard lately that he has become a 
candidate for admission to the church." 

10. Another gave the following account of him- 
self : "I was formerly an ignorant, wicked lad. 
My father became steady and a member of the 
church, and begged me, for his sake, to behave 


better, and not to bring him and the family into 
disgrace. I tried, but I was still lawless and im- 
moral ; so much so, that a heavy fine was imposed 
on our family for one thing I did. This was the last 
of my gross sins ; and when in the midst of it a 
strange fear of God came over me; so much so, that I 
at once prayed for forgiveness. I then began to pray 
regularly morning and evening. Although I was 
quite ignorant, and could not read a word, I felt 
a pleasure in prayer. It seemed as if God came and 
cheered and instructed me when I prayed. I then 
gave up going to night-dances : felt that I did not 
care for them. It was about this time that I one 
day overheard two women talking together. The 
one was telling the other of a conversation she 
had with one of the deacons of the church, when she 
went to talk about becoming a member ; she said it 
made her feel as if she were actually in heaven. I 
wondered whatever the man could say to her to 
make her feel so, and thought I would try and have 
a talk some day with the deacon, too. A few days 
after that I saw him coming along the road, and all 
at once made up my mind to speak. ' Will it be 
agreeable to you to have a little conversation with 
me about the Word of God ? ' ' Quite agreeable,' 
said the good man. ( I am going somewhere, just 
now, but you come to my house by and by, in the 
evening.' I was delighted that he was willing to 
talk with me. Evening came. I went to his house. 
He took me into a back-room, and there we sat 
down. I said I had a great desire to know about 


the Word of God. He said it was very good, and 
then commenced questioning me. He first asked if 
I knew what sin was. I did not know what to say, 
and so he explained to me that it meant treading 
under foot God's law. He then asked whether I 
thought that I had been trampling on God's laws. 
He talked about that, too. Many a thing the good 
man told me that night. He seemed to go over all 
the great doctrines of the Word of God. I continued 
inquiring after the truth, and was at length admitted 
into the church. None but God knows how sinful 
I was. I feel that I have a sinful heart still, but I 
trust in the redemption-price paid by Jesus for the 
forgiveness of all my transgressions." 

11. Another young man thus writes : " Several 
years ago I had a sister that I loved dearly. She 
took ill, lay for seven months, and then died. I was 
at that time a servant of the devil. Sin was sweet 
to me. My sister had great compassion for me, 
mourned over my wickedness, and implored me to 
abandon my sins. I was constantly beside her, and 
especially at the last. To my astonishment, she had 
no fear of death. She was quite happy at the 
thought of it, and talked about going to be with 
Jesus in heaven. She did not seem like one dying 
at all, but rather like a person going a journey to 
another part of the country, and glad at the thought 
of going. This to me was most amazing. I could 
not understand it ; for when I happened to be ill at 
any time, I was dreadfully afraid of dying. It was 
not so with my sister ; death was all joy to her ; she 


did not know what fear was. Her last entreaties 
were, that I shonld give up sin, and seek forgiveness 
and eternal life through Christ. I promised to do so, 
and I now say that her happy death and her dying 
agreement with me, were the means of my casting off 
the service of sin, and of my turning to Jesus, whose 
service I have found to be far sweeter than ever I 
found the service of the devil. Some time ago I 
was thought by the missionary to be fit to act as 
teacher, and as there was a scarcity of teachers, I 
consented. I commenced my labours, but it was 
like a man attempting to cut down a forest with a 
blunt axe, or like a foolish man hammering away, 
but never striking the head of the nail. I mean to 
say, that I did not know sufficiently God's Word 
myself to be a teacher of others, and that, although 
I could talk, yet it was of little use. I therefore 
implored the missionary to let me have the first 
opening he had at the institution, that I might get 
further instruction, as I wished, when I talked, to 
say something to the point, and explain clearly the 
Word of God." 

12. Let me add but another illustration of the 
power of God in the conversion of the Samoans. It 
is from a young man now in the institution : "I 
was once," he says, " a great thief. I remember 
stealing two fowls from one family, a hatchet from 
another, and often I stole taro from the plantations. 
One day I went into a house where there was a blind 
man. I said I wanted a light, and stole three pad- 
dles. Many cases of stealing were searched into by 


the chiefs, but no one could find out the thief. I 
knew all the time who it was. I thought stealing a 
famous sport, and got it into my head that Grod did 
not cause anybody to die merely for stealing. I did 
not like to hear sermons, and seldom went to chapel. 
My favourite Sabbath employment was to be off in 
the bush with some other young fellows, chasing 
fowls, stealing bananas, and quarrelling. I went to 
the week-day school sometimes, but it was merely for 
the fun and mischief I could raise among the other 
boys. The teacher was obliged to drive me away. 
I only knew three letters then, but I did not care. 
I said to myself, ' What is the use of these difficult 
things ? who can remember them ?' and so I kept to 
my thieving and wickedness. I once even went the 
length of giving my mother a beating. About five 
years ago I felt a change come over me, and a wish 
to go to school. I did so, and night after night I 
dreamed about reading, and thought that I could 
read well. This made me all the more anxious to 
persevere. I never missed a school now, and soon 
I could read the Bible. I attended the services also, 
and as I began to see how wicked I had been, my 
greatest wonder was, how ever God had borne with 
me so long. I delighted to think of his love, and 
that I had been spared to understand that Christ 
died to save sinners like myself. Even now that I 
have received Christ, and have for some time devoted 
my life to his service, I have frequent sorrow of heart 
as I think of the great wickedness of my early days. 
It seems as if I had been at the very extreme of 


wickedness, but thanks, thanks, thanks be to God 
for his great forbearance in not quickly punishing me 
on account of my sins ! I am amazed as I think of 
it. My love to Christ increases, and I hope after 
death to be with him where he is in unchanging 

But I must stop. May God bless those young 
men to whom these notices refer ! They can speak 
to their fellow-men from experience. I have given 
but the meagre abridgments of more lengthened 
narratives, and I must leave the reader to make his 
own comments. As I have been writing, I have been 
thinking that many of the Samoans will rise up in 
judgment for the condemnation of multitudes who 
live in far more favoured parts of Christendom. God 
forbid that any of my readers should slight their pri- 
vileges, and famish amid the rich profusion of the 
bread of life by which they are surrounded ! 




At short distances along the coast, for about four 
miles east and west of the institution, there are eight 
villages, containing an aggregate population of 2152 
individuals. These villages have each a resident 
teacher, who preaches, and to whom is entrusted . 
other branches of ministerial duty. My fellow-tutor 
and I take a pastoral oversight in the admission or 
exclusion of church members, and also in adminis- 
tering the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's 
Supper. These villages also furnish a sphere for the 
occasional exercise of the preaching talents of the 
students, preparatory to their being sent out and 
appointed to the care of villages themselves.* 

Of the population in the eight villages just 
referred to, 234 . are members of the church, 387 

* The kind of preaching which takes in Samoa is the illus- 
trative. A plain statement of abstract truth to a people who 
hardly ever open their mouth but in a figure, is dry and unin- 
teresting. The successful preacher in Samoa, whether native or 
European, must search heaven, and earth, and sea, and bring 
forth also from every age of the history of his fellow-men with 
which he is acquainted, facts illustrative of the great truths which 
he preaches. The man who thinks that " anything" will do for 
such a people, will find that his preaching is vain and valueless. 
He will neither gain the respect of the people, nor save souls. 


are candidates for church fellowship, and the rest 
are professedly Christians. In every family in the 
district Grod is worshipped, and family prayer con- 
ducted night and morning. In the day-schools for 
children there are in all 551, and in the day-schools 
for adults there are in attendance 902. In addition 
to the regular morning and afternoon services on the 
Sabbath-day, there is a Sunday-school at noon for 
the children, and after that a Bible-class for the 
adults. At the former, there is an aggregate attend- 
ance of 504, and at the latter, 900. 

The church members at five of these villages, 
unite once a month in communion with the students 
in the institution. The other three villages, which 
are more isolated, form a separate church, and have 
a united communion once a month. It seldom hap- 
pens, — but it is an understood thing, — that if the mis- 
sionary is prevented from attending on the ordinance 
day at this outpost, that the teachers of the three 
villages conduct the service themselves. At out- 
stations, in various parts of the group, the Lord's 
Supper is duly administered once a month by the 
native pastors. 

In admitting members to the church, the course 
we have pursued is something like the following : 
When an individual feels a desire to leave off the 
service of Satan, and become a follower of Christ, he 
makes known his wish to the teacher of the village. 
If the teacher thinks him sincere he notes his name, 
and mentions the case to us, that we too may take 
it down. In our arrangements, we have an hour 


now and then for the purpose of conversing indi- 
vidually with these candidates for church fellowship, 
and note in our memorandum book, opposite to the 
name of the party, the opinion formed. At some of 
these names I have such words as " hopeful — reads — 
seems in earnest ;" or, it may be, that I have to record 
such words as, " doubtful — can't read — answers by 
rote — pharisaical — dark as to Christ." The teacher 
forms these candidates into a class for special in- 
struction, and keeps his eye particularly upon them. 
Once or twice in the course of the year he, together 
with the aid of the church members, makes a selec- 
tion, it may be of two, four, or six, whom they think 
fit to be admitted to the church. If we find, on 
comparing the list with our notes, that our opinion 
is the same as that of the church members and 
teachers, we then give notice at the next prayer- 
meeting of the church members, that certain parties 
are proposed for admission, and if, after another 
month, there are no objections, and all lift up the 
hand in a vote in favour of the parties, they are ad- 
mitted, and join in the next communion. If, however, 
there are any doubts, we delay. It is rare that any are 
admitted before having been candidates for two or 
three years. I have some who have been candidates 
for five, and even ten years, and yet we have not con- 
fidence in admitting them. One, for instance, is a 
middle-aged, steady sort of man, but he cannot read. 
Another can read, but he has not been at the trouble 
to procure the books of Scripture. Another reads 
and has the entire Bible, but there are suspicions ; 


he seems to equivocate at times, and now and then 
slips away to fish, or work in his plantation, instead 
of attending the prayer-meeting. For these, and 
similar things, which indicate a want of Christian 
principle, we keep back many, year after year, afraid 
lest we should be the means of misleading any, or 
of causing them to settle down contented with a 
mere name to live. By being careful to admit only 
such as give protracted evidence that they have been 
received by Glod, we have all the less occasion for 
subsequent discipline. We do not hesitate, how- 
ever, to dismiss at once from church fellowship any 
against whom there is a clearly made out case of 
such things as lying, stealing, adultery, lifting the 
hand in a quarrel, or Sabbath-breaking. When 
church members prove unfaithful, it can hardly be 
concealed. Their conduct is pretty open to the 
world, and not only is the eye of the ungodly open 
and vigilant, his tongue also is ever ready to trumpet 
abroad any inconsistencies which he may discover 
in the professors of Christianity. 

The eight village teachers or pastors, to whom I 
have referred, are supported by the voluntary con- 
tributions of the people in the villages where they 
labour. For several years we gave our teachers, 
throughout the group, an allowance of clothing from 
the funds of the Missionary Society. This required 
the Directors to send out now and then a £200 
parcel of Manchester goods — a serious item of ex- 
penditure, and yet, when it was divided into 200 
shares, and each share considered a man's allowance 


for himself, his wife, and family, for eighteen months 
or two years, it seemed so little that one felt ashamed 
to offer it. In 1852, we thought the time had fully 
come to throw the entire support of the teachers 
upon the people themselves. We have no seat-rents, 
or other stated source of ecclesiastical income, from 
which to pay these village pastors. The chapels are 
built freely by the united labour of the people them- 
selves, and that entitles them to free attendance. 
Annually, in May, we have missionary meetings, and 
a voluntary collection, but that is sacred to the Mis- 
sionary Society. We, therefore, decided that we 
should call upon the people simultaneously all over 
the group, to fix upon the first month of every year 
for making a voluntary contribution for the support 
of their village teacher. The people had all along 
been in the habit of building him a house, and of 
supplying him with the most of the food which he 
required, but they left him to his own resources, or 
the allowances from the Missionary Society, for 
everything else. 

The extra effort was something novel to the 
people, but as they had by this time the New Testa- 
ment in their hands, and the greater part of the Old, 
it was easy to explain to them the Scripture prin- 
ciple, and even to appeal to their own common- sense, 
that the man who does their work should be paid 
by them. Still, however, some grumbled. " Why 
not pay the teachers out of the May collection ?" 
" If we subscribe for the teachers in January, there 
will be nothing for the Missionary Society in May.". 


" If we yield to this, and pay the teachers, we shall 
be called upon to pay the missionaries next." These 
were the sayings of a few of the croaking, close-fisted, 
and unprincipled. It was easy to meet every ob- 
jection, and so we commenced the new scheme in 
January, 1853. In the eight villages adjacent to 
our Mission Seminary the aggregate, in cash value, 
of articles . given by the people to their teachers 
amounted to £14, or about 35s. to each teacher. It 
was not much, but it was a commencement, and far 
more than we had been able to afford from the funds 
at our disposal from the Missionary Society. Next 
year it amounted to £22. Every year it went on 
steadily increasing, and the year before I left, the 
united collections of these eight villages, for their 
teachers, amounted to £84 ; that is to say, on an 
average, upwards of £10 to each. This, with the 
addition to which we have already referred, of a free 
house, and a pretty good supply of food, is, we 
consider, ample provision for a native teacher in 
Samoa at the present day. 

Not only has the scheme worked well for the 
support of the village pastors, but it has not detracted 
in the least from the annual collection in May for the 
Missionary Society. For the last seven years we 
have averaged upwards of £60, as the annual col- 
lection from the district and the institution — a larger 
sum by far than we ever averaged # in preceding 
years. It holds good in Samoa as in England, that 
the people who do most for the cause of God among 
themselves are the very parties who are foremost in . 


their efforts for the cause of Christ among the 

The chiefs were on the alert again, according to 
their custom, at which I have already hinted, and 
wished to legislate on the question of the support of 
teachers. One proposal was, that they should pass 
a law, and have a uniform poll-tax, that all might 
give alike. Another, and rather an amusing scheme 
of the cheap religionist order, was, that the women 
pay the teacher one year, and the men the next, and 
so on alternating. Of course, we had again to inter- 
fere, and beg the chiefs to confine their legislation 
to other things, and let religion alone. On the part 
of some of them, it was kindness to the teacher, 
and a wish to see that all contribute ; but we 
begged them to leave his support, just as they do 
the annual missionary collection, viz., to the free- 
will offerings of the people, to whose instruction 
the teacher, from day to day, devotes himself. This 
is done. The month is fixed, one gives one thing, 
another something else, and the result is as I have 

For the gratification of the curious, I may give 

an illustration or two of what a Samoan minister gets 

from his people as his stipend. Last year one in 

a neighbouring village had handed in to him by 

tvarious parties — 

10 Fine mats, worth 4s. each. 
47 Pieces of native cloth, worth Is. each. 
4 Bed-curtains, worth 8s. each. 



33 Two-yard lengths of calico. 
1 Woman's gown. 

3 Pigs. 

34 Silver coins, of various kinds, from a dollar 

to a dime, worth in all, 45s. 

Another teacher had given him : — 
23 Four-yard lengths of calico. 
17 Two-yard lengths of calico. 
10 Pieces of native cloth. 
6 Pigs. 
3 Native tiputas, something like the Spanish 

1 Coat. 
1 Shirt. 
1 Fowl. 
1 Child's garment. 

Silver coins of various kinds to the value of 
£4 15s. 

Another received : — 
97 Pieces of native cloth. 
14 Two-yard lengths of calico. 
5 Four-yard ditto ditto. 

1 Shirt. 
3 Fowls. 
1 Duck. 
1 Smoothing iron. 

Coins to the value of 7s. 

Let these suffice as a specimen of what the Sa- 
moans give to their teachers in the shape of salary. 


They also illustrate the mixed currency which pre- 
vails in their dealings with each other in their pre- 
sent stage of civilization. 

The beneficial effects of throwing the support of 
the teachers on the people themselves are obvious. 
On the one hand, the people like the independent 
feeling, that they are paying for the pains which the 
teacher takes to instruct them and their children; and, 
on the other, the teacher is stirred up to his duty ; 
and, even if he has the inclination, feels ashamed to 
waste his time in trading pursuits, or in any other 
secularities, hostile to the discharge of the duties of 
his teachership and pastorate. We charge it solemnly 
on our native agents not to entangle themselves 
"with the affairs of this life," but to be faithful to 
the special duties of their sacred calling. To each 
we say, with reference to these duties, "Give thyself 
wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear unto 
all," and with the precept, we give the example of 
our own missionary life and conduct. Ever since I 
have known the Samoan Mission, its agents have 
stood aloof from all secular pursuits in quest of gain ; 
and God forbid that any one should ever there, by 
land-jobbing, cattle- dealing, or trading of any de- 
scription, pollute the sacred office, and bring his 
brethren into disrepute ! 

The general routine of the duties of a teacher in 
the district of which I am now speaking, is to devote 
the morning to the children, noon to a more select 
class of boys or girls, and sometimes both, who 
have been collected into a boarding-school, sup- 


plied with, food and clothing by their parents, and 
conducted by the teacher and his wife;* and the 
afternoon is spent in attending to classes of adults 
for general instruction. One afternoon they have 
the men, another the women, and once a week have 
a united meeting of all for a religious service in the 
interval of the Sabbaths. On Saturday evening they 
have a prayer-meeting with the church members 
and more steady part of the community, and on the 
Sabbath they are employed as follows : — There is 
first the early morning prayer-meeting, then the 
morning service ; mid-day, the Sunday school ; at 
two p.m., an adult Bible-class ; and at four p.m., the 
afternoon service. 

These are the leading duties of a teacher. In 
addition, however, there are many other things 
which draw upon his time, such as visiting the 
sick, conducting a religious service at funerals, 
and attending classes for further instruction himself 
at the residence of the missionary. 

Once a year we examine the schools which these 
good men conduct, and endeavour frequently to visit 
their villages, preach to the people, and converse 
with those who are candidates for church fellowship. 

* Any time which Mrs. Turner has been able to give to the 
instruction of the natives, has for a number of years been prin- 
cipally devoted to the wives and daughters of the teachers in the 
institution. She has endeavoured, however, to keep her eye 
upon these girls' boarding-schools, by getting them to visit her 
occasionally. By advices also to the women who conduct them, 
and by supplying them with sewing and other materials, she has 
been able to give them some little superintendence. 


We have also annually a united missionary meeting 
of the whole district in our magnificent " Exeter 
Hall," which is simply the institution square under 
the shade of the bread-fruit trees, and there we have 
three hours' interesting speaking ; first with the 
adults in the morning, and then in the afternoon 
with the children. Missionaries, native teachers, and 
leading church members are the speakers. On these 
occasions, also, we send round half a dozen plates, to 
receive whatever the people please to give for the 
Missionary Society. They contribute in silver coins, 
and for the last seven years this annual collection has 
averaged upwards of sixty pounds. 

But the greatest encouragement amid all our 
labours, and the rich reward of all our toils, is the 
fact that hardly a month passes without some in- 
stance of a happy death, as the close of a changed 
and penitent life. I know something of the later 
years and last days on earth of more than half a 
generation of the people in the district about whom 
I am now writing ; and of many of them I can en- 
tertain the cheering conviction that they are safe in 
heaven. I have frequently retired from their peaceful 
death-beds, involuntarily whispering such words as 
the following : — " God, grant that when my 
change comes, I may be enabled to look death in the 
face with all the composure and holy triumph which 
that good man now feels. 5 ' Even from the closing 
scenes of some who have lived a most ungodly life, 
we have now and then an affecting and telling 
testimony in favour of Christianity. In agony 


themselves at the thought of what is before them, 
they urge their weeping relatives and ungodly 
companions to betake themselves, with all haste, 
to Jesus, lest they, too, should go to that "place 
of torment." 




Soon after the commencement of the institution, it 
was arranged that the tutors there act conjointly as 
revisers of the press. The printing-office is situated 
about five miles from the institution. In addition to 
carrying through the press my own works, to which 
I have referred, the proof-revising of all the books 
of the Old Testament, and the greater part of those 
of the New, together with various other minor pro- 
ductions, occupied many an hour of my time. Mrs. 
Turner was my faithful proof-reader all these years, 
and, although unknown at Earl Street, has never- 
theless rendered no small service to the foreign 
version department. 

Having been thus connected with the Samoan 
press, it is but right perhaps that I should add some- 
thing on the subject of the Scripture translations. 
"When I joined the mission, all the books of Scrip- 
ture had been portioned out for translation. Sub- 
sequently I got four of the prophetical books as my 
share of the work, viz., Daniel, Hosea, Joel, and 
Amos. The laborious work, however, of carrying 
all through committee was but commencing, and 
marked out for us years of toil before accomplishing 
the great work on which our hearts was set. 


In all our Scripture translations, we acted upon 
the principle that no one man, however well qualified 
for the task, is fit to be intrusted with the entire 
responsibilities of translating the Word of God into 
a foreign language. It was, therefore, a standing 
rule with us, that after the translator had done his 
best, he submit his manuscript to a committee of not 
less than three of his brother missionaries, appointed 
for the purpose at a general meeting. The translator, 
if possible, formed one of the number, and as that 
committee, rather than the translator, was held 
responsible, every word was compared with the 
original, and the renderings altered or confirmed, 
as the united voice of the committee might 

When we met on these committees, we sat ten 
hours a day, with our native pundits, for two, three, 
four, or six weeks, according to the length or diffi- 
culty of the book. The first thing, of course, was to 
settle the rendering ; the second, to find the right 
word ; and the third, to put that word in the right 
place. For the rendering we had some of the leading 
critical helps, and were guided also by the translating 
rules of the Committee of the British and Foreign 
Bible Society,* and for the right word and the right 

* The following are three of the principal rules to which I 
refer : — 

" 1. For the Hebrew Bible, the edition of Yan der Hooght is 
considered the standard ; and, in the use of this, the translator is 
at liberty to follow either the Eetib or the Keri ; but not to adopt 
any rendering which is not sanctioned by the Masoretic vowel 


place, we had to be guided by our united knowledge 
of the language, aided by four or five intelligent 
natives who sat with us, ready to answer our ques- 
tions and to hear verse after verse read connectedly 
as we finished it. 

At the commencement of a book, we had a num- 
ber of preparatory things to settle, affecting the style 
of the author, and certain phrases which he uses ; 
so that our progress for a few days would be slow, 
not more, sometimes, than five verses. As we 
advanced, however, we got through from twenty to 
forty verses a day. We endeavoured to make the 
translation of every verse the united voice of the 
entire committee. When there was a difference of 
opinion, the disputed point was settled by the majo- 
rity of votes ; and in any case of unusual difficulty, 
the question was reserved for the united deliberation 
of the entire mission at a general meeting. 

On referring to my notes, I find that I sat in 
committee on twenty-nine out of the sixty-six books 

points, or the Keri, or the English authorized version, or the mar- 
ginal reading of this last. 

" 2. For the Greek Testament, the Elzevir edition of the Textus 
Recejotus, a.d. 1643, and reprinted by the Bible Society, is con- 
sidered the standard ; but in cases where the English anthorized 
version differs from this, either in the text, or in the marginal 
reading, the translator is at liberty to adopt the rendering which 
may agree with any one of these three. 

" 3. The verb, /?a-7n-i£, and its cognates, in the New Testament, 
are either to be represented by the Greek word being transferred 
into the form of the language of the version, or else to be trans- 
lated by terms not definitely limited to the sense of either sprinkling 
or immersion." 


of tlie Scripture, and as I know something of the 
history of the manuscripts of all the other books, I 
can bear testimony that every book of our Samoan 
version of the Scriptures was got up with all the 
care and sacred regard for accuracy which I have 
just described. 

After completing the New Testament, and print- 
ing it in separate books on the islands, we divided 
ourselves into four committees for the further revi- 
sion of the whole. This being done, we rewrote the 
entire version and sent the manuscript to London 
for an edition of 15,000 copies from the British and 
Foreign Bible Society. The Directors of that noble 
institution had repeatedly aided us by grants of 
printing-paper, as the first edition was passing 
through the press, and now that the New Testament 
was completed, and a second edition wanted, they at 
once rendered us the help we solicited. In 1850, 
the new edition, which was carried through the 
press in London by our missionary, the Eev. J. B. 
Stair, was sent out to us at a cost for the whole of 
£1388 13s. 6d. Believing that the natives could 
perfectly well afford to pay for them, and would 
value them all the more after making a little effort 
to procure them, we arranged our sales accordingly, 
and, in seven years, paid off the £1388 13s. 6d., 
much to the satisfaction of ourselves, and especially 
to the delight of our good friends the Committee of 
the British and Foreign Bible Society. While issu- 
ing the Scriptures in single books from our mission 
press, we uniformly made a small charge to meet 


expenses, and, as a general rule, only gave copies 
gratis to onr native agents.* 

By the close of 1855, we had completed the revi- 
sion and printing in the islands of the Old Testa- 
ment, and, as a worthy commemoration of the event, 
we had a general thanksgiving all over the group. 
Our Scripture translation work, however, was not 
yet done. We divided the whole afresh into eight 
portions for further correction by individual brethren, 
preparatory to a final revision, and a new edition of 
the entire Scriptures, in one volume, to be printed in 
London. The final revision, to secure uniformity 
and give to the whole the matured benefit of nearly 
twenty years' experience, we committed to our 
brethren Pratt and Msbet. For three hundred and 
thirty-one days they plodded afresh, through every 
book from Genesis to the Revelation, referring diffi- 
culties to Mr. Murray and myself, and, in particular 
cases, to the entire mission. In addition to this Mr. 
Murray sat with them on two different occasions 
for four weeks at a time, and I also spent a month 
with them. Now that this revision work is done, the 
whole has been committed to my care, to carry 
through the press an edition of 10,000, with mar- 
ginal references, under the auspices of the British 
and Foreign Bible Society. As the version is in 
accordance with our knowledge of the Samoan 
dialect in 1860, it is, of course, free from all obso- 

* I give, I believe, an under estimate when I say that, during 
the last twenty years, the Samoans have bought and paid for 
copies of the Scriptures to the extent of three thousand pounds. 


lete words and phrases, and will, I have no doubt, 
be far plainer in this respect to a Samoan, than onr 
English version is at the present day to many of our 

The printing of the work has been commenced, 
and, with God's help and blessing, I hope in due 
time to return to the sphere of my much-loved work, 
and to take with me the new edition of this precious 
volume, for which the people there are waiting with 
no measured interest. 




While in Samoa, I wrote a number of papers, em- 
bodying some of tlie leading facts connected with 
the history of the people, which are not only interest- 
ing in themselves, but likely to be of use as a contri- 
bution to ethnological science. The most of these 
papers have already appeared in a journal called the 
" Samoan Reporter," which we issued occasionally 
for private circulation among our friends. I have 
collected and revised the whole, and now give them 
in a more connected form. 

I have, to some extent, followed the order of a 
list of queries respecting the human race, drawn up 
a number of years ago, by a committee of the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science. This 
arrangement will amply suffice to classify the infor- 
mation communicated, and to those who have these 
queries, and who take an interest in ethnological 
studies, it will facilitate reference. 

Samoa as it was is the leading subject of some 
of the following chapters ; at the same time promi- 
nence is given to the changes effected under the 
benign and ameliorating influences of Christianity. 
We begin with a number of topics which may be 
headed Individual and Family Life. 



At the birth of her child, the mother, as in more 
favoured parts of the earth, has a liberal share in the 
kind attention of her friends. Her own mother was 
almost invariably la sage-femme ; but failing her, 
some other female friend. Her father was generally 
present on the occasion, and either he or her husband 
prayed to the household god, and promised to give 
any offering he might require, if he would only pre- 
serve mother and child in safety. A prayer was thus 
expressed : " Moso, be propitious ; let this my 
daughter be preserved alive ! Be compassionate to 
us ; save my daughter, and we will do anything you 
wish as our redemption price." Offerings to the 
god were regulated by the caprice and covetousness 
of the cunning priest. Sometimes a canoe was 
demanded ; at other times, a house was to be built ; 
and often fine mats or other valuable property was 
required. But more as to these offerings in a sub- 
sequent chapter. The household god of the family 
of the father was generally prayed to first ; but, if 
the case was tedious or difficult, the god of the family 
of the mother was then invoked ; and when the child 
was born, the god prayed to just before was carefully 
remembered and duly acknowledged throughout the 
future life of the child. By way of respect to him, the 
child was called his merda ; and was actually named 
during infancy and childhood, " merda of Tongo," 
or " Satia," or whatever other deity it might be. 


If the little stranger was a boy, the umbilicus was 
cut on a club, that he might grow up to be brave in 
war. If of the other sex, it was done on the board 
on which they beat out the bark of which they make 
their native cloth. Cloth-making is the work of 
women; and their wish was, that the little girl should 
grow up and prove useful to the family in her proper 

Infanticide, as it prevailed in Eastern Polynesia, 
and as it is still practised in the New Hebrides, 
was unknown in Samoa. Nor were children ever 
exposed. After they were born they were affection- 
ately cared for. But the custom of destroying them 
before that, has prevailed to a melancholy extent. 
Shame, fear of punishment, lazy unwillingness to 
nurse, and a dread of soon being old-looking, were 
the prevailing causes. Pressure was the means em- 
ployed ; and, in some cases, proved the death of the 
unnatural parent. Since the introduction of Chris- 
tianity, this custom has been greatly checked, if not 
almost entirely abandoned. 

As to nursing, during the first two or three days, 
the nurse bestowed great attention to the head of 
the child, that it might be modified and shaped after 
notions of propriety and beauty. The child was laid 
on its back, and the head surrounded with three flat 
stones. One was placed close to the crown of the 
head, and one on either side. The forehead was 
then pressed with the hand, that it might be flat- 
tened. The nose, too, was carefully flattened. Our 
"canoe noses," as they call them, are blemishes in 


their estimation. For the first three days the infant 
was fed with the juice of the chewed kernel of the 
cocoa-nut, expressed through a piece of native cloth, 
and dropped into the mouth. On the third day a 
woman of the sacred craft was sent for to examine 
the milk. A little was put into a cup, with water 
and two heated stones, and then examined. If it 
had the slightest curdled appearance, she pronounced 
it bitter and poisonous. This process she repeated 
two or three times a day for several days, until it was 
drawn off free from coagulation, and then she pro- 
nounced it sweet and wholesome, and the child was 
forthwith permitted to partake of its proper nourish- 
ment. Of course, she was well paid for her services, 
and had every inducement to prolong them for 
several days. During this time the infant was fed 
with the juice of the cocoa-nut or the sugar-cane. 
Many fell victims to this improper treatment. At a 
very early period the child is fed ; and sometimes 
weaned altogether at four months. This has been 
another fruitful source of mortality among children. 
Occasionally the father or some member of the 
family, through whom it was supposed the god of 
the family spoke, expressly ordered that the child 
have nothing but the breast for an indefinite time. 
This was a mark of respect to the god, and called 
his " banana." In these cases the child grew 
amazingly, and was soon, literally, as plump as a 
banana. These and other evils are being remedied ; 
and the better treatment of children is, in some 
places, apparent in the increased population. With 


ordinary proper treatment, they are, upon the whole, 
easily reared. What Marsden says of the children 
of Sumatra will apply to Samoa: — " Mothers carry 
the children, not on the arm, as our nurses do, but 

straddling on the hip This practice, I have 

been told, is common in some parts of Wales. It is 
much safer than the other method, less tiresome to 
the nurse, and the child has the advantage of sitting 
in a less constrained posture. But the defensive 
armour of stays, and offensive weapons called pins, 
might be some objection to the general introduc- 
tion of the fashion in England. The children are 
nursed but little ; not confined by any swathing or 
bandages ; and being suffered to roll about the floor, 
soon learn to walk and shift for themselves." — 
(" History of Sumatra," 3rd edit. p. 285.) 

Education. — Girls always, and boys for four 
or five years, are under the special charge of the 
mother, and follow her in her domestic avocations. 
The girl is taught to draw water, gather shell-fish, 
make mats and native cloth. The boy, after a time, 
follows his father, and soon is useful in planting, 
fishing, house-building, and all kinds of manual 

A modified form of circumcision prevailed. About 
the eighth or tenth year, two or three boys would 
unite and go, of their own accord, to some one in 
the village, who would make the customary incision, 
and give him some trifling reward for his trouble. 
There was no further ceremony on the occasion, as 
at other periods of life. 



Names. — Out of respect to the household god, as 
we have already remarked, the child was named after 
him, during the time of infancy and childhood ; after 
that, a name was given. The animal and vegetable 
kingdoms, places, occupations, actions, and events 
furnished them with the principal names. The 
primitive rule, " one man, one word," invariably 

Rejoicing. — About the third day the woman was 
up, and at her usual occupation, and ready to take 
part in the rejoicings connected with the occasion. 
By this time the principal friends were assembled. 
They all brought presents, and observed an unvary- 
ing rule in the kind of presents each was expected to 
bring. The relations of the husband brought " oloa" 
which includes pigs, canoes, and all kinds of foreign 
property, such as cloth, hatchets, etc. The relations 
of the wife brought " tonga," which includes the 
leading articles manufactured by the females, viz., 
fine mats and native cloth. The " oloa" brought by 
the friends of the husband was all distributed among 
those of the wife, and the " tonga" brought by the 
friends of the wife was divided among those of the 
husband ; and thus the whole affair was so managed, 
that the friends were the benefited parties chiefly, 
and the husband and wife left no richer than they 
were. Still, they had the satisfaction of having seen 
what they considered a great honour, viz., heaps of 
property collected on occasion of the birth of their 
child. Feasting, sham-fighting, night-dancing, and 
many other heathen customs, formed one continued 


scene of revelry for two or three days, when the 
party broke up. 

Twins are rare. Triplets still more so ; indeed, 
there is only a vague tradition of such a thing. 
Twins are supposed to be of one mind, and to think, 
feel, and act alike ; during the time of infancy and 
childhood, at least. There are a few instances of 
large families, but four or five will be the average. 

Adopted Children. — The number of children seen 
in a family is small, occasioned, to a great extent, 
by the bad management and consequent mortality of 
children, and also a custom which prevails of parting 
with their children to friends who wish to adopt 
them. The general rule is, for the husband to give 
away his child to his sister. She and her husband 
give, in return for the child, some foreign property, 
just as if they had received so many fine mats or na- 
tive cloth. The adopted child is viewed as " tonga" 
and is, to the family who adopts it, a channel 
through which native property (or " tonga") con- 
tinues to flow to that family from the parents of the 
child. On the other hand, the child is to its parents 
a source of obtaining foreign property (or " oloa ") 
from the parties who adopt it, not only at the time of 
its adoption, but as long as the child lives. Hence 
the custom of adoption is not so much the want of 
natural affection, as the sacrifice of it to this sys- 
tematic facility of traffic in native and foreign pro- 
perty. Hence, also, parents may have in their 
family adopted children, and their own real children 
elsewhere. The existence of this custom has been 


a source of great practical difficulty to those who 
become converts from heathenism. No sooner are 
their eyes opened to see their parental responsibility, 
and that they must give account at the judgment- 
seat for the manner in which they have trained up 
their children, than they wish to collect their off- 
spring from the families into which they have been 
adopted. But then the parties who have adopted 
them will not give them up ; and often, too, the 
children are unwilling to leave their adopted parents, 
and go among strangers — for, alas ! such to them 
are their real parents. Christian parents, however, 
are to some extent succeeding in their efforts to 
recall their children to their proper home ; and the 
consequences are delightful. A sense of parental 
responsibility is making way among the whole popu- 
lation, and a conviction that they must give an 
account unto God for the manner in which they 
train up their children is, to many parents now, 
paramount to the inferior concerns of secular traffic 
in fine mats and foreign property. 




Passing from infancy and childhood, we proceed to 
the ceremonies, superstitions, and customs con- 
nected with, more advanced years. 

Tatooing. — " Herodotus found among the Thra- 
cians, that the barbarians could be exceedingly 
foppish after their fashion. The man who was not 
tatooed among them was not respected." It was the 
same in Samoa. Until a young man was tatooed, 
he was considered in his minority. He could not 
think of marriage, and he was constantly exposed to 
taunts and ridicule, as being poor and of low birth, 
and as having no right to speak in the society of 
men. But as soon as he was tatooed, he passed into 
his majority, and considered himself entitled to the 
respect and privileges of mature years. When a 
youth, therefore, reached the age of sixteen, he and 
his friends were all anxiety that he should be 
tatooed. He was then on the outlook for the tatoo- 
ing of some neighbouring chief with whom he might 
unite. On these occasions, six or a dozen young 
men would be tatooed at one time ; and for these 
there might be four or five tatooers employed. 

Tatooing is still kept up to some extent, and is 
a regular profession, just as house-building, and 



well paid. There is a tradition on the origin of the 
custom, which traces it to Feejee. Two goddesses, 
the one named Taema and the other Tilafainga, are 
said to have swam to Samoa from Feejee, and, on 
their reaching these islands, commenced singing — 

" Tatoo the men, but not the women ; 
Tatoo the men, but not the women." 

The custom is thus traced to Taema and Tilafainga ; 
and they were worshipped by the tatooers as the 
presiding deities of their craft. 

The instrument used in the operation is an ob- 
long piece of human bone 
(os ilium), about an inch 
and a half broad and two 
inches long. A time of 
war and slaughter was a 
harvest for the tatooers to 
get a supply of instru- 
ments. The one end is 
cut like a very small- 
toothed comb, and the 
other is fastened to a piece 
of cane, and looks like a little serrated adze. They 
dip it into a mixture of candle-nut ashes and water, 
and, tapping it with a little mallet, it sinks into the 
skin; and in this way they puncture the whole 
surface over which the tatooing extends. The 
greater part of the body, from the waist down to the 
knee, is covered with it, variegated here and there 
with neat regular stripes of the untatooed skin, 


which, when they are well oiled, make them appear 
in the distance as if they had on black silk knee- 
breeches. Behrens, in describing these natives in 
his narrative of Roggewein's voyage of 1772, says: 
"They were clothed from the waist downwards 
with fringes and a kind of silken stuff artificially 
wrought." A nearer inspection would have shown 
that the "fringes" were a bunch of red ti leaves 
(Draccena terminalis) glistening with cocoa-nut oil ; 
and the "kind of silken stuff," the tatooing just 
described. As it extends over such a large surface, 
the operation is a tedious and painful affair. After 
smarting and bleeding for a while under the hands 
of the tatooers, the patience of the youth is ex- 
hausted. They then let him rest and heal for a 
time, and, before returning to him again, do a little 
piece on each of the party. In two or three months 
the whole is completed. The friends of the young 
men are all the while in attendance with food. They 
also bring quantities of fine mats and native cloth, 
as the hire of the tatooers ; connected with them, 
too, are many waiting on for a share in the food and 

The waste of time, revelling, and immorality 
connected with the custom have led us to discoun- 
tenance it ; and it is, to a considerable extent, given 
up. But the gay youth still thinks it manly and 
respectable to be tatooed; parental pride says the 
same thing ; and so the custom still obtains. It is 
not likely, however, to stand long before advancing 
civilization. European clothing, and a sense of 


propriety they are daily acquiring, lead them to 
cover the tatooed part of the body entirely ; and, 
when its display is considered a shame rather than 
a boast, it will probably be given up, as painful, 
expensive, and useless ; and then, too, instead of 
the tatooing, age, experience, common-sense, and 
education will determine whether or not the young 
man is entitled to the respect and privileges of 
mature years. 

There is a custom observed by the other sex 
worth noticing, for the sake of comparison with 
other parts of the world. About the time of enter- 
ing into womanhood, their parents and other rela- 
tives collect a quantity of fine mats and cloth, 
prepare a feast, and invite all the unmarried women 
of the settlement. After the feast the property is 
distributed among them, and they disperse. None 
but females are present. It is considered mean and 
a mark of poverty, if a family does not thus observe 
the occasion. 

Chastity is ostensibly cultivated by both sexes ; 
but it is more a name -than a reality. From their 
childhood their ears are familiar with the most 
obscene conversation ; and as a whole family, to 
some extent, herd together, immorality is the na- 
tural and prevalent consequence. There are excep- 
tions, especially among the daughters of persons of 
rank ; but they are the exceptions, not the rule. 
Many native teachers and other consistent charac- 
ters, seeing the evil, have now separate sleeping 
apartments in their dwellings ; and their better 


regulated families are becoming models to their 
countrymen of an improved and improving com- 

Adultery, too, is sadly prevalent, although often 
severely punished by private revenge. If the injured 
husband seeks revenge in the blood of the seducer, 
no one thinks he has done wrong. But the worst 
feature of the law of private revenge is, that the 
brother, or any near relation of the culprit, is as 
liable to be killed as he himself is. Fines are now 
being substituted ; but, occasionally, revolting mur- 
ders are still committed on account of the crime. 

Marriage contracts are never entered into before 
the parties reach the years of maturity just de- 
scribed. Considerable care is taken to prevent any 
union between near relatives ; so much so, that a 
list of what they deem improper marriages would 
almost compare with the " Table of kindred and 
affinity." They say that, of old, custom and the 
gods frowned upon the union of those in whom con- 
sanguinity could be closely traced. Few had the 
hardihood to run in the face of superstition ; but if 
they did, and their children died at a premature age, 
it was sure to be traced to the anger of the house- 
hold god on account of the forbidden marriage. 

A young man rarely, in the first instance, pays 
his addresses in person to the object of his choice. 
A present of food is taken to her and her relatives 
by a friend of his, who is, at the same time, com- 
missioned to convey the proposal to her father ; or, 
failing him, to the elder brother of the young 


woman. Her consent is, of course, asked too ; but 
that is a secondary consideration. She must agree, 
if her parents are in favour of the match. If the 
present of food is received, and the reply favourable, 
the matter is considered settled. This, together 
with a somewhat formal meal directly after the 
marriage ceremony, reminds us of the Roman 

All parties consenting, preparations commence, 
and one, two, or three months are spent collecting 
various kinds of property. All the family and 
relatives of the bride are called upon to assist, and 
thus they raise a great quantity of tonga, which 
includes all kinds of fine mats and native cloth, 
manufactured by the women. This is invariably the 
dowery, which is presented to the bridegroom and 
his friends on the celebration of the nuptials. He 
and his friends, on the other hand, collect in a 
similar manner for the family of the bride oloa, 
which includes canoes, pigs, and foreign property of 
all kinds, such as cloth, garments, etc. 

A time is fixed when the parties assemble. The 
bride and her friends, taking with them her dowery, 
proceed to the home of the bridegroom, which may 
be in another settlement, or on an adjacent island. If 
they were people of rank, it was the custom of old 
that the ceremonies of the occasion pass off in the 
marae. The marae is the forum or place of public 
assembly — an open circular space, surrounded by 
bread-fruit trees, under the shade of which the people 
sit. Here the bridegroom and his friends, and the 


whole village assembled, together with the friends of 
the bride. All were seated cross-legged around the 
marae, glistening from head to foot with scented oil, 
and decked off with beads, garlands of sweet- smelling 
flowers, and whatever else their varying fancy might 
suggest for the joyous occasion. In a house close 
by, the bride was seated. A pathway from this house 
to the marae, in front of where the bridegroom sits, 
was carpetted with fancy native cloth ; and, all being- 
ready, the bride decked off too with beads, a garland 
of flowers or fancy shells, and girt round the waist 
with fine mats, flowing in a train five or six feet 
behind her, moved slowly along towards the marae. 
She was followed along the carpetted pathway by a 
train of young women, dressed like herself, each bear- 
ing a valuable mat, half spread out, holding it to the 
gaze of the assembly ; and, when they reached the 
bridegroom, the mats were laid down before him. 
They then returned to the house for more, and went 
on renewing the procession and display until some 
fifty or a hundred fine mats and two or three hundred 
pieces of native cloth were heaped before the bride- 
groom. This was the dowery. The bride then 
advanced to the bridegroom, and sat down. By and 
by she rose up before the assembly, and was received 
with shouts of applause, and, as a further expression 
of respect, her immediate friends, young and old, 
took up stones and beat themselves until their heads 
were bruised and bleeding. The obscenity which 
preceded this burst of feeling will not bear the light 
of description. Then followed a display of the oloa 



(or property) which the bridegroom presented to the 
friends of the bride. Then they had dinner, and 
after that, the distribution of the property. The 
father, or, failing him, the brother or sister of the 
father of the bridegroom, had the disposal of the 
tonga which formed the dowery ; and, on the other 
hand, the father or brother of the bride had the dis- 
posal of the property which was given by the bride- 
groom. Night-dances and their attendant immo- 
ralities, wound up the ceremonies. 

The marriage ceremonies of common people 
passed off in a house, and with less display ; but the 
same obscene form was gone through to which we 
have referred — a custom which, doubtless, had some 
influence in cultivating chastity, especially among 
young women of rank. There was a fear of dis- 
gracing themselves and their friends, and a dread of 
a severe beating from the latter after the ceremony, 
to which the faithless bride was sometimes subjected, 
almost as if the letter of the Mosaic law had been 
carried out upon her. 

But there were many marriages without any such 
ceremonies at all. If there was a probability that 
the parents would not consent, from disparity of rank 
or other causes, an elopement took place ; and, if the 
young man was a chief of any importance, a number 
of his associates mustered in the evening, and walked 
through the settlement, singing his praises and shout- 
ing out the name of the person with whom he had 
eloped. . This was sometimes the first intimation the 
parents had of it, and, however mortified they might 


be, it was too late. After a time, if the couple con- 
tinued to live together, their friends acknowledged 
the union by festivities and an exchange of property. 

Concubinage. — When the newly-married woman 
took up her abode in the family of her husband, she 
was attended by a daughter of her brother, who was, 
in fact, a concubine. Her brother considered that, 
if he did not give up his daughter for this purpose, 
he should fail in duty and respect towards his sister, 
and incur the displeasure of their household god. 
Failing her brother, her mother's relatives supplied 
her with this maid of honour. Hence, with his wife, 
a chief had one, two, or three concubines. Each of 
these took with her tonga as a dowery, which, per- 
haps, was the most important part of the business ; 
for, after presenting her dowery, she might live with 
him or not, as she pleased. Often the addition of 
these concubines to the family was attended with all 
the display and ceremonies of a regular marriage. 

Polygamy. — The marriage ceremony being such 
a prolific source of festivities and profit to the chief 
and his friends, the latter, whether he was disposed 
to do it or not, often urged on another and another 
repetition of what we have described. They took the 
thing almost entirely into their own hands, looked 
out for a match in a rich family, and, if that family 
was agreeable to it, the affair was pushed on, whether 
or not the daughter was disposed to it. She, too, as 
a matter of etiquette, must be attended by her com- 
plement of one or more young women. According 
to this system, a chief might have some ten or a 


dozen wives and concubines in a short time. Owing, 
however, to quarrelling, and jealousies, many of them 
soon returned to their parental home ; and it was 
rare to find a chief with more than two wives living 
with him at the same time. 

Divorce. — If the marriage had been contracted 
merely for the sake of the property and festivities of 
the occasion, the wife was not likely to be more than 
a few days or weeks with her husband. With or 
without leave, she soon found her way home to her 
parents. If, however, a couple had lived together 
for years, and wished to separate, if they were mutu- 
ally agreed, they did it in a more formal way. They 
talked over the matter coolly, made a fair division 
of their property, and then the wife was conveyed 
back to her friends, taking with her any young chil- 
dren, and leaving those more advanced with their 
father. A woman might thus go home and separate 
entirely from her husband ; but, while that husband 
lived, she dared not marry another. Nor could she 
marry even after his death, if he was a chief of high 
rank, without the special permission of the family 
with which she had connected herself by marriage. 
Any one who broke through the custom, and married 
her without this, was liable to have his life taken 
from him by that family ; or, at least, he had to pay 
them a heavy fine. 

Widows. — The brother of a deceased husband 
considered himself entitled to have his brother's 
wife, and to be regarded by the orphan children as 
their father. If he was already married, she would, 


nevertheless, live with him as a second wife. In the 
event of there being several brothers, they met and 
arranged which of them was thus to act the part of 
the deceased brother. The principal reason they 
alleged for the custom was, a desire to prevent the 
woman and her children returning to her friends, 
and thereby diminishing the number and influence 
of their own family. And hence, failing a brother, 
some other relative would offer himself, and be re- 
ceived by the widow. Should none of them, how- 
ever, wish to live with her, or should there be any 
unwillingness on her part, she was, in either case, at 
liberty to return to her own friends. 

Viewing these customs in the light of Old Testa- 
ment Scriptures, the most cursory observer will per- 
ceive striking coincidences. The punishment with a 
view to cultivate chastity, the punishment of adultery 
with death, the parties whose consent is essential to 
the marriage ceremony, the particular relatives whose 
prerogative it was to distribute the dowery, together 
with the disposal of the wife of a deceased brother, 
all show that Samoa, like heathen lands of every age 
and clime, possesses the wreck of a long lost, but 
Divine system of truth and duty. 




Following the order of the queries to which we have 
already referred, our attention is next called to the 
prevailing food of the Samoans, their mode of cook- 
ing, the liquors which they use, together with the 
time and number of their meals. 

Animal and Vegetable Food. — Bread-fruit, taro, 
bananas, and cocoa-nuts form the staff of life in 
Samoa. Yams are cultivated, but chiefly as an 
article of barter. Sweet-potatoes, Indian corn, 
melons, and pumpkins have been introduced, but are 
not much cared for amid the profusion of better food 
which generally obtains. Pine-apples, custard-apples, 
oranges, limes, citrons, figs, vines, yellow and purple 
guavas, pomegranates, and mulberries have also 
been introduced. Some date, cinnamon, and man- 
gostin plants have recently been added, and thrive. 
The lagoons and reefs furnish a large supply of fish 
and shell-fish, of w^hich the natives are very fond ; 
and occasionally all, but especially persons of rank, 
regale themselves on pigs, fowls, and turtle. Oxen 
have been introduced, and are being prized by the 
natives. Those who wish an extended and minute 
account of the varieties of the animal and vegetable 
kingdoms, in this and other groups in Central and 


Eastern Polynesia, will find ample information in the 
published volumes of the United States Exploring 
Squadron of 1842. 

For about half the year, the Samoans have an 
abundant supply of food from the bread-fruit trees. 
During the other half they depend principally on 
their taro plantations. Bananas and cocoa-nuts are 
plentiful throughout the year. While the bread-fruit 
is in season, every family lays up a quantity in a pit 
lined with banana and cocoa-nut leaves, and covered 
in with stones. It soon ferments ; but they keep it 
in that state for years, and the older it is they relish 
it all the more. They bake this in the form of little 
cakes, when the bread-fruit is out of season, and 
especially when there is a scarcity of taro. The 
odour of these cakes is offensive in the extreme to a 
European ; but a Samoan turns from a bit of English 
cheese with far more disgust than we do from his 
fermented bread-fruit. 

A crop of bread-fruit is sometimes shaken off the 
trees by a gale before it is ripe, and occasionally taro 
plantations are destroyed by drought and caterpillars ; 
but the people have wild yams in the bush, preserved 
bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts, and fish to fall back upon ; 
so that there is rarely, if ever, anything like a serious 
famine. A scarcity of food, occasioned by any of the 
causes just named, they were in the habit of tracing 
to the wrath of one of their gods, called le 8a (or 
the Sacred One) . The sun, storms, caterpillars, and 
all destructive insects were said to be his au ao, or 
"ministers of his, that do his pleasure," who were 



commissioned to go forth and eat up the plantations 
of those with whom he was displeased. A Samoan, 
in describing the ravages of caterpillars, would have 
said of Le 8a : " He spake, and caterpillars came, 
and that without number, and did eat up all the 
herbs in our land and devoured the fruit of our 
ground." In times of plenty as well as of scarcity, 
they were in the habit of assembling with offerings 
of food, and poured out drink-offerings of ava to Le 
8a, to propitiate his favour. 

Cannibalism. — It has been questioned whether 
this savage custom ever prevailed in Samoa. During 
some of their wars, a body was occasionally cooked ; 
but they affirm, that, in such a case, it was always 
some one of the enemy who had been notorious for 
provocation or cruelty, and that eating a part of his 
body was considered the climax of hatred and revenge, 
and was not occasioned by the mere relish for human 
flesh, such as obtains throughout the Feejee, New 
Hebrides, and New Caledonian groups. In more 
remote heathen times, however, they may have in- 
dulged this savage appetite. To speak of roasting 
him, is the very worst language that can be addressed 
to a Samoan. If applied to a chief of importance, he 
may raise war to avenge the insult. Sometimes a 
proud chief will get up and go out of the chapel 
in a rage, should a native teacher in his sermon speak 
of "hell fire." It is the custom, on the submission 
of one party to another, to bow down before their 
conquerors each with a piece of firewood and a 
bundle of leaves, such as are used in dressing a pig 


for the oven ; as much as to say, " Kill us and cook 
us, if you please." Criminals, too, are sometimes 
bound hand to hand and foot to foot, slung on a pole 
put through between the hands and feet, carried and 
laid down before the parties they have injured, like a 
pig about to be killed and cooked. So deeply humi- 
liating is this act considered, that the culprit who 
consents to degrade himself so far is almost sure to 
be forgiven. It is not improbable, therefore, that in 
some remote period of their history, the Samoans 
were more familiar with the savage custom to which 
we refer than in more recent times. 

Cooking. — The Samoans have the mode of cook- 
ing with hot stones, which has been often described 
as prevailing in the South Sea Islands. Fifty or 
sixty stones about the size of an orange, heated by 
kindling a fire under them, form, with the hot ashes, 
an ordinary oven. The taro, bread-fruit, or yams, 
are laid among the stones, a thick covering of bread- 
fruit and banana leaves is laid over all, and, in about 
an hour, all is well cooked. In the same oven, they 
bake other things ; such as fish, done up in leaves 
and laid side by side with the taro or other vege- 
tables. Little bundles of taro-leaves, too, mixed 
with the expressed juice of the cocoa-nut kernel, and 
some other dishes, of which cocoa-nut is generally 
the chief ingredient, are baked at the same time, 
and used as a relish in the absence of animal food. 
Salt-water is* frequently mixed up with these dishes, 
which is the only form in which they use salt. They 
have no salt, and are not in the habit of preserving 


fish or pork otherwise than by repeated cooking. In 
this way, they keep pork for a week, and fish for 
three weeks or a month. However large, they cook 
the entire pig at once ; then, nsing a piece of split 
bamboo as a carving-knife, cnt it np and divide it 
among the different branches of the family. The 
dnties of cooking devolve on the men ; and all, even 
chiefs of the highest rank, consider it no disgrace to 
assist in the cooking-honse occasionally. 

Forbidden Food. — Some birds and fishes were 
sacred to particular deities, and certain parties 
abstained from eating them. A man, for example, 
would not eat a fish which was supposed to be under 
the protection and care of his household god ; but he 
would eat, without scruple, fish sacred to the gods of 
other families. The dog, and some kinds of fish and 
birds, were sacred to the greater deities — the dii 
major inn genti/u/m of the Samoans ; and, of course, all 
the people rigidly abstained from these things. For 
a man to kill and eat anything he considered to be 
under the special protection of his god, was supposed 
to be followed by his displeasure in the sickness or 
death of himself, or some member of the family. The 
same idea seems to have been a check on cannibalism, 
as there was a fear lest the god of the deceased would 
be avenged on those who might cook and eat the 

Liquors. — The young cocoa-nut contains about 
a tumblerful of a liquid something resembling water 
sweetened with lump-sugar, and very slightly acid. 
This is the ordinary beverage of the Samoans. A 


young cocoa-nut baked in the oven yields a hot 
draught, which is very pleasant to an invalid. 
They have no fermented liquors ; but they make an 
intoxicating draught from an infusion of the chewn 
root of the ava plant (Piper methysticum). A bowl 
of this disgustingly-prepared stuff is made and served 
out when a party of chiefs sit down to a meal. At 
their ordinary meals few partake of it but the father, 
or other senior members of the family. It is always 
taken before, and not after the meal. Among a formal 
party of chiefs, it is handed round in a cocoa-nut 
shell cup, with a good deal of ceremony. When the 
cup is filled, the name, or title rather, of the person 
for whom it is intended is called out ; the cup-bearer 
takes it to him, he receives it, drinks it off, and 
returns the cup to be filled again, as the "portion" 
of another chief.* The most important chiefs have 
the first cups, and, following the order of rank, all 
have a draught. The liquor is much diluted ; few 
drink to excess ; and, upon the whole, the Samoans 
are, perhaps, among the most temperate ava drinkers 
in the South Seas. The old men consider that a 
little of it strengthens them and prolongs life ; and 
often they have a cup the first thing in the morning. 
Foreign liquors have been introduced, but there is 
hardly any demand for them yet among the natives ; 
and long may they be preserved from the curse of 
drunkenness ! 

* Any one seeing this custom can easily imagine how, with 
a limping Vulcan as cup-bearer, it might naturally follow that 

" Heaven rung with laughter not to be suppressed." 


Hospitality. — The Samoans, even in their most 
heathen state, were remarkable for hospitality. Tra- 
velling parties never needed to take food for any 
place beyond the first stage of their journey. Every 
village had its " large house," kept in good order, 
and well spread with mats for the reception of 
strangers. On the arrival of a party, some of the 
members of every family in the village assembled 
and prepared food for them. It was the province of 
the head of one particular family to decide, and send 
word to the rest, how much it would be necessary 
for each to provide. After all was cooked, it was 
taken and laid down in front of the house, and, on 
presenting it, one of them would make a speech, 
welcoming them to their village ; and, although a 
sumptuous repast had been provided, an apology 
would be made that there was nothing better. The 
strangers replied, returned thanks, and exchanged 
kind words. In the event of there being a chief of 
high rank among the party, it would probably be 
decided that every man, woman, and child of the 
place turn out, dress themselves in their best, walk 
in single file, each carrying a fish, a fowl, a lobster, 
a yam, or something else in the hand, and, singing 
some merry chant as they went along, proceed to the 
place, and there lay down in a heap what they had 
provided for their guests. An evening ball or night- 
dance was also considered an indispensable accom- 
paniment to the entertainment. A travelling party 
rarely spent more than one night at a place. On 
the introduction of Christianity, the kind enter- 


tainment of strangers was encouraged, with the 
exception, of course, of the night-dance part of it. 
Hearing of late years vague accounts of inns, and 
the custom of making strangers pay for food in other 
parts of the world, some of the Samoans have been 
led to think that Europeans and others from ships 
should pay for everything, almost to a cup of water ; 
and hence strangers, from a mere stroll along the 
beach at some of the ports, may conclude that the 
people are the most inhospitable in the world. Such 
is far from being the case. Among themselves, as I 
have just remarked, the rights of hospitality are 
numerous, and well observed, and to missionaries 
and other well-known foreign residents, with whom 
they live on friendly terms, they are always hos- 
pitable and polite. 

Meals. — Like the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and 
Romans, the Samoans have a meal about eleven a.m., 
and their principal meal in the evening. At the 
evening meal, every family is assembled ; and men, 
women, and children all eat together. They have 
no tables, but seat themselves cross-legged round 
the circular house, on mats. Each has his portion 
laid down before him on a bread-fruit leaf ; and thus 
they partake, in primitive style, without knife, fork, 
or spoon. Should any strangers be present, due 
respect is shown to them, as of old, by laying before 
them "a worthy portion." After the meal, water 
to wash is handed round. 

Formerly, the head of the family, in taking his 
cup of ava at the commencement of the evening 


meal, would pour out a little of it on the ground, as 
a drink-offering to the gods, and, all being silent, he 
would utter aloud the following prayer : — 

" Here is ava for you, gods ! Look kindly 
towards this family : let it prosper and increase ; 
and let us all be kept in health. Let our plan- 
tations be productive : let fruit grow ; and may 
there be abundance of food for us, your creatures. 

" Here is ava for you, our war gods ! Let there 
be a strong and numerous people for you in this 

" Here is ava for you, sailing gods ! * Do 
not come on shore at this place ; but be pleased to 
depart along the ocean to some other land." 

It was also very common to pray with an offering 
of " flaming fire," just before the evening meal, 
Calling upon some one to blow up the fire and 
make it blaze, and begging all to be silent, a 
senior member of the family would pray aloud as 
follows : — 

" This light is for you, king t and gods su- 
perior and inferior ! this light is for you all. Be 
propitious to this family : give life to all ; and may 
your presence be prosperity. Let our children be 
blessed and multiplied. Remove far from us fines 
and sicknesses. Eegard our poverty ; and send us 

* Gods supposed to come in Tongan canoes and foreign 

t The principal god of the family. 


food to eat, and cloth to keep us warm. Keep away 
from ns sailing gods ; lest they come and canse 
disease and death. Protect this family by your 
presence ; and may health and long life be given to 
us all." 

Among the vagaries of Samoan superstition, 
there was much to prepare the heathen mind for the 
pure and holy doctrines which the Christian mis- 
sionary came to make known — much calculated to 
facilitate his labours. To give thanks before meals, 
to unite in prayer, and to be quiet and orderly during 
religious services did not seem at all strange or un- 
natural. Now, the evening meal is commenced by 
thanking the one living and true God for his good- 
ness, and is generally followed by family worship, 
in conducting which they praise God, read the 
Scriptures, and unite in prayer. 





In our last chapter we alluded to the food of the 
Samoans, and now proceed to a description of their 
clothing, the materials of which it is made, their 
modes of ornament, etc. 

Previous to the introduction of Christianity, their 
wants for clothing were few, and amply supplied by 
the produce of their own islands and labour. During 
the day, a covering of ti leaves (Draccena terminalis) 

was all that either sex thought necessary. " They 
sewed" ti " leaves together, and made themselves 
aprons." The men had a small one about a foot 


square, the women had theirs made of longer ti leaves, 
reaching from the waist down below the knee, and 
made wide, so as to form a girdle covering all round. 
They had no regular covering for any other part of 
the body. Occasionally, during rain, they would tie 
a banana-leaf round the head for a cap, or hold 
one over them as an umbrella. They made shades 
for the eyes, of a little piece of plaited cocoa-nut 
leaflet; and sometimes they made sandals of the 
plaited bark of the Hibiscus tiliaceus, to protect the 
feet while fishing among the prickly coral about the 

Native Cloth. — At night they slept on a mat, using 
as a covering a sheet of native cloth, and inclosed all 
round by a curtain of the same material to keep out 
musquitoes. In sickness, also, they wrap themselves 
up in native cloth. Their native cloth is made of 
the inner bark of the paper mulberry (Morus papyri- 
fera) beaten out on a board, and joined together with 
arrow-root, so as to form any width or length of cloth 

The juice of the raspings of the bark of trees, 
together with red clay, turmeric, and the soot of 
burnt candle-nut, furnish them with colouring matter 
and varnish, with which they daub their native 
cloth in the form of squares, stripes, triangles, etc., 
but, with a few exceptions, perhaps, devoid of taste 
or regularity. 

Fine Mats. — Their fine mats were, and are still, 
considered their most valuable clothing. These mats 
are made of the leaves of a species of pandanus 


scraped clean and thin as writing-paper, and slit into 
strips abont the sixteenth part of an inch wide. 
They are made by the women ; and, when completed, 
are from two to three yards square. They are of a 
straw and cream colour, are fringed, and, in some 
instances, ornamented with small scarlet feathers 
inserted here and there. These mats are thin, and 
almost as flexible as a piece of calico. Few of the 
women can make them, and many months — yea, 
years, are sometimes spent over the making of a 
single mat. These fine mats are considered their 
most valuable property, and form a sort of currency 
which they give and receive in exchange. They 
value them at from two to forty shillings each. They 
are preserved with great care ; some of them pass 
through several generations, and as their age and 
historic interest increase, they are all the more 

Another kind of fine mats for clothing they 
weave out of the bark of a beautiful dwarf hibis- 
cus, which is extensively spread over these islands 
without any cultivation. They are shaggy on the 
one side, and, when bleached white, resemble a pre- 
pared fleecy sheep-skin. These they sometimes dye 
with red clay found in the mountains. It is doubt- 
ful whether the hibiscus, to which we have just 
referred, has yet found a place in any botanical 
nomenclature. From the strength and whiteness of 
the flax manufactured from its bark, it is capable of 
being turned to great use. 

Cleanliness.— As the native cloth cannot be 


washed without destroying it, it is generally filthy 
in the extreme before it is laid aside. This has 
induced a habit of carelessness in washing cotton and 
other garments, which is very offensive and difficult 
to eradicate. They are cleanly, however, in other 
habits beyond most of the natives of Polynesia. 
Their floor and sleeping mats are kept clean and tidy. 
They generally use the juice of the wild orange in 
cleansing, and bathe regularly every day. It is 
worth remarking, too, that, while bathing, they have 
a girdle of leaves or some other covering round the 
waist. In this delicate sense of propriety, it would 
be well for some more civilized parts of the world to 
learn a lesson from the Samoans. 

Special Occasions. — At marriages and on other 
gala days, the women, and many of the men, laid 
aside the leaves and girded themselves with fine mats. 
Gay young men and women decorated themselves 
with garlands of flowers or shells. The nautilus shell, 
broken into small pieces, and strung together, was 
a favourite head-dress. They oiled themselves from 
head to foot with scented oil, and sometimes mixed 
turmeric with the oil to give their skin a tinge of 

Both sexes kept uncovered the upper part of 
the body, and wore beads or other trinkets round 
the neck. They prided themselves, also, in dressing 
their children in a similar style. The women wore 
the hair short, and, on occasions, sometimes had it 
raised and stiffened with a mixture of scented oil and 
the gum of the bread-fruit tree. It was fashionable, 



also, for young women to have a small twisted lock 
of hair, with a curl at the end of it, hanging from the 
left temple. The men wore their hair long and 
gathered up in a knot on the crown of the head, a 
little to the right side. In company, however, and 
when attending religious services, they were careful 
to untie the string, and let their hair now behind, as 
a mark of respect. Gay young men occasionally cut 
their hair short, leaving a small twisted lock hanging 
down towards the breast from either temple. Their 
hair is naturally black ; but they were fond of dyeing 
it a light brown colour, by the application of lime, 
which they made by burning the coral. To dye hair, 
and also to rub and blind the eyes of pigs which 
trespassed into neighbouring plantations, were the 
only uses to which they applied lime in the time of 

The beard they shaved with the teeth of the 
shark. Armlets of small white shells were worn by 


the men above the elbow-joint. Some pierced their 
ears with a thorn, and wore a small flower for an 
earring ; bnt this was not very common. A long 
comb, made from the stem of the cocoa-nnt leaflet, 
was a common ornament of the women, and worn in 
the hair behind the ear. For a looking-glass, they 
sometimes nsed a tnb of water ; but in arranging the 
head-dress, they were more frequently guided by the 
eyes and taste of others. The tatooing, which we 
described in a previous chapter, was also considered 
one of their principal ornaments. 

Changes of Modern Times. — Soon after the arrival 
of the missionaries, a marked change took place. 
With few exceptions, the men cut their hair short, 
abandoned the short and narrow leaf-apron, wore, 
while at work, the deep leaf- girdle of the women, 

and, when they appeared at public worship, dressed, 
if possible, in a regatta or white shirt, and a piece of 


calico round the loins. Coats, waistcoats, trousers, 
neckerchiefs, and straw hats came into use. The 
women, too, commenced wearing loose calico dresses, 
and were rarely seen without a tiputa or upper gar- 
ment of some kind. The tiputa was introduced from 
Tahiti. It is simply a couple of yards of cloth with 
a hole in the middle, through which they put the 
head, letting the ends hang down before and behind 
like a Spanish poncho. Straw bonnets and shawls 
were also soon in demand. In the lack of the former, 
some of the women showed great ingenuity in 
manufacturing a novel and very durable article 
from tortoise-shell. Every missionary had a supply 
of calico, prints, etc. ; not that he might set up 
as a missionary trader — a system which in our 
mission we have ever strongly deprecated — but 
simply because clothing and such things were the 
currency of the islands, and the payment sought for 
work done, or in exchange for vegetables and other 
articles of domestic consumption. Much, however, 
was thus done to further the commercial interests of 
civilized countries. At the present time the Samoans 
do not clothe so well as they might do. Clothing in 
such a climate is a burden. Still the demand for 
cotton goods alone, apart from other articles of 
foreign manufacture, amounts to about £15,000 per 
annum, and is every year increasing. 

The war which broke out in 1848 sadly altered 
the aspect of the people. Hundreds of young men 
who had been clothed and sober-looking for years, 
were soon seen with the long hair and dissipated 


look of heathen times, and in their war costnme, too, 
which, with the exception of a few ti leaves, is nudity 
itself. We trnst, however, that the reaction in favour 
of peace, happiness, and everything that is good, 
which has again set in, may be long continued. 




Under the head of amusements, dancing, wrestling, 
boxing, fencing, and a variety of games and sports 
call for description, and to these we shall briefly 

Dancing was a common entertainment on festive 
occasions, snch as a marriage ; it is practised still, 
but only among people who make no serions profes- 
sion of Christianity. Some of their dances are in the 
daytime, and, like dress-balls of other countries, are 
accompanied with a display of fancy mats and other 
Samoan finery. At the night assemblies, the men 
dress in their short leaf-aprons. Sometimes only 
the men dance, at other times women, and occa- 
sionally the parties are mixed. They dance in 
parties of two, three, and upwards, on either side. 
If the one party moves in one direction, the other 
party takes the opposite. They have also various 
gesticulations, which they practise with some regu- 
larity. If, for example, the one party moves along 
with the right arm raised, the other does precisely 
the same. 

Singing, clapping the hands, beating time on 
the floor-mats, and drumming are the usual musical 
accompaniments. Their music, on these occa- 


sions, is a monotonous chant of a line or two, re- 
peated over and over again, with no variety beyond 
two or three notes. They seek variety rather in 
time. They begin slow, and gradually increase, 
until, at the end of ten or twenty minutes, they are 
full of excitement, the perspiration streaming down, 
and their tongues galloping over the rhyme at 
breathless speed. For a drum, they have two or 
three contrivances. One is a log of wood six or 
eight feet long, hollowed out from a narrow elon- 
gated opening on the upper surface ; and this they 
beat with a short stick or mallet. Another is a set 
of bamboos, four feet long and downwards, arranged 
like a Pan's pipe, having the open ends inclosed 
in a mat bag, and this bag they beat with a stick. 
A third kind of drumming is effected by four or 
five men, each with a bamboo open at the top and 
closed at the bottom, with which, holding vertically, 
they beat the ground, or a stone, or any hard 
substance, and as the bamboos are of various 
lengths, they emit a variety of sounds. At these 
night-dances, ail kinds of obscenity in looks, 
language, and gesture prevail ; and often they dance 
and revel till daylight. 

Court buffoons furnish some amusement at 
dancing and other festivals, and also at public 
meetings. If a chief of importance goes to any of 
these assemblies, he has in his train one or two 
Merry- Andrews, who, by oddity in dress, gait, or 
gesture, or by lascivious jokes, try to excite 


Boxing and fencing were common formerly on 
festive days, and often led to serions quarrels. In 
fencing, they used the stalk of the cocoa-nut leaf as 
a substitute for a club. Women as well as men 
entered the ring, and strove for the fame of a 

Wrestling is another amusement. Sometimes 
they choose sides, say four against four ; and the 
party who have the most thrown have to furnish 
their opponents with a cooked pig, served up with 
taro, or supply any other kind of food that may be 
staked at the outset of the game. A supply of 
some kind of food is the usual forfeit in all their 

Clasp and undo is another kind of wrestling. 
One man clasps a second tightly round the waist, 
and this second does the same to a third. The 
three thus fastened together lie down and challenge 
any single man to separate them. If he succeeds, 
they pay the forfeit ; if not, he does. 

Throiving the spear is also common. The young 
men of one street or village will match against those 
of another ; and, after fixing a mark in the distance, 
throw a small wooden javelin so that it may first 
strike the ground, and then spring upwards and 
onwards in the direction of the mark. They who 
throw farthest win the game, and have a repast of 
food at the expense of those who lose it. In more 
direct spear-throwing, they set up the stem of a 
young cocoa-nut tree, with the base upwards, which 
is soft and spongy. One party throws at it, and 


fills it with spears. The other party throws, and tries 
to knock them down. If any remain after all have 
thrown, they are counted until they reach the num- 
ber fixed for the game. In another of these amuse- 
ments, at which they may be said to "learn war," a 
man stands in the distance and allows another to 
throw spears at him. He has no shield, but merely 
a club ; and with this he shows surprising dexterity, 
in hitting off spear after spear as it approaches 

Fishing matches are in vogue at particular sea- 
sons. The party who take the most fish win, and 
are treated with cooked pigs and other viands by 
those who lose. 

Pigeon-catching is another amusement, and one, 
like our English falconry of other days, in which the 
chiefs especially delight. The principal season sets 
in about June. Great preparations are made for it ; 
all the pigs of a settlement will be slaughtered and 
baked for the occasion ; and, laden with all kinds of 
food, the whole population of the place go off to 
certain pigeon-grounds in the bush. There they put 
up huts, and remain sometimes for months at the 

The ground being cleared, the chiefs station 
themselves at distances all round a large circular 
space, each concealed under a low shed or covering 
of brushwood, having by his side a net attached to a 
long bamboo, and in his hand a stick with a tame 
pigeon on a crook at the end of it. This pigeon is 
trained to fly round and round, as directed by its 



owner, with a string at its foot thirty feet long, 
attached to the end of the stick. Every man flies 
his pigeon, and then the whole circle looks like a 
place where pigeons are flocking ronnd food or 
water. The scene soon attracts some wild pigeon ; 
and, as it approaches the spot, whoever is next to it 
raises his net, and tries to entangle it. He who 
gets the greatest number of pigeons is the hero of 
the day, and honoured by his friends with various 
kinds of food, with which he treats his less success- 
ful competitors. Some of the pigeons are baked, 
others are distributed about and tamed for further 
use. Taming and exercising them for the sporting 
season is a common pastime. Of all the Samoan 
sports, none, perhaps, is a greater hindrance to 
missionary work than pigeon-catching. Schools are 
deserted, and whole villages scattered by it on a 
career of dissipation for many weeks at a time. But, 
happily, it is fast becoming unpopular. The fowling- 
piece is taking the place of the pigeon-net. Few, 
comparatively, now go to the grounds ; and, ere 
long, fewer still, perhaps, will follow in the train of 
those who go. 

Spinning the cocoa-nut is another amusement. A 
party sit down in a circle, and one in the centre 
spins a cocoa-nut. When it rests, they see to whom 
the three black marks or eyes on the end of the shell 
point, and impose upon him some little service to 
the whole, such as unhusking chesnuts, or going for 
a load of cocoa-nuts for them. This is especially 
worthy of remark, as it is the Samoan method of 


casting lots. If a number of people are unwilling to 
go a message, or do a piece of work, they will decide 
the matter by wheeling round the cocoa-nut to see 
to whom it turns its face, as they call it, when it 
rests. Formerly, they would sometimes appeal to 
this lot, and fix the charge of stealing on a 
person towards whom the face of the cocoa-nut 

They have also a game of hide-and-seek, with 
the addition that those who hide try to escape those 
who seek, and run to a given post or mark. All who 
reach the post are counted towards making up the 

Pitching small cocoa-nut shells to the end of a 
mat is a favourite amusement of the chiefs. They 
try to knock each other's shells off the given spot. 
They play in parties of two and two, with five shells 
each. They who have most shells left on the place, 
after all have thrown, win. 

They have also guessing sports. One party hide, 
the other bundle up one of their number in a large 
basket covered over with a cloth. Then they, too, 
hide, all but three, who carry the basket to the other 
party, for them to guess who is in it. If they guess 
correctly, then they in turn get the basket to do the 
same. The successful guesses are counted for the 

Like Samson and his companions, they were in 
the habit of amusing themselves with riddles. Let 
the following suffice as a specimen. I quote them 


from a paper by Mr. Nisbet, which appeared in our 
" Reporter :"— 

"1. A man who continues standing out of doors 
with a burden on his back. — Explanation. A banana- 
tree, with a bunch of bananas. 

" 2. There are twenty brothers, each with a hat 
on his head. — Explan. A man's fingers and toes ; 
the nails of which are represented as hats. 

" 3. A man who stands between two ravenous 
fish. — Exjolan. The tongue, as being placed between 
the teeth of the upper and lower jaws. 

"4. There are four brothers, who are always 
bearing about their father. — Exjplan. The Samoan 
pillow, formed by four legs and a bamboo; the 

legs being the four brothers, the bamboo the 

" 5. There is a man who calls out continually day 
and night. — Explan. The surf on the reef, which 
never rests. 

" 6. There is a man who, when he leaves the 
bush, is very little ; but when he has reached the 
sea-shore, becomes very great. — Explan. The bark 
of the paper-mulberry, which, when first taken 
off the wood, is very narrow; but, when beaten 


out to make the native cloth, becomes very 

" 7. A man who has a white head, stands above 
the fence, and reaches to the heavens. — Exjplan. 
The smoke rising from the oven." 

They have sundry other amusements. Swim- 
ming in the surf on a board, and steering little 
canoes while borne along on the crest of a wave 
towards the shore, are favourite juvenile sports. 
Canoe-racing, races with one party in a canoe and 
another along the beach, races with both parties on 
land, climbing cocoa-nut trees to see who can go up 
quickest, reviews and sham-fighting, cock-fighting, 
tossing up oranges and keeping three, four, or more 
of them on the move : these and many other things 
were of old, and are still, numbered among Samoan 
sports. The teeth and jaws, too, are called into 
exercise. One man will engage to unhusk with his 
teeth, and eat five large native chesnuts (Tuscajous 
edulis) before another can run a certain distance and 
return. If he fails, he pays his basket of cocoa-nuts, 
or whatever may be previously agreed upon. 

Our juvenile friends will be sure to recognize 
some of their favourite amusements in this descrip- 
tion, and will, perhaps, feel inclined to try the 
novelty of some of these Samoan variations. What 
a surprising unity of thought and feeling is disco- 
verable among the various races of mankind, from a 
comparison of such customs as these ! These illus- 
trations also suffice to show that, while in their 


heathen state, the Samoans found plenty to occupy 
their leisure hours, day and night, all through the 
year. Now, however, many of them find in Chris- 
tianity other and better occupations, and have 
neither time nor inclination to follow after the 
" childish things " in which they were wont to revel 
in by-gone days. 




Mortality, longevity, diseases, and the treatment of 
the sick will now form the subject of a few observa- 
tions ; and here we begin with — 

Infants. — Before the introduction of Christianity, 
probably not less than two-thirds of the Samoan 
race died in infancy and childhood. This mortality 
arose principally from carelessness and mismanage- 
ment in nursing ; evils which still prevail to a great 
extent. Even now, perhaps, one-half of them die 
before they reach their second year. The poor little 
things are often carried about with their bare heads 
exposed to the scorching rays of a vertical sun. Ex- 
posure to the night-damps also, and above all stuffing 
them with improper food, are evils which often make 
us wonder that the mortality among them is not 
greater than it is. The Samoans were always fond 
of their children, and would have done anything for 
them when ill ; but, with the exception of external 
applications for skin diseases, they had no remedies 
for the numerous disorders of children. Now, they 
are highly favoured with useful medicines at every 
mission-station, and have generally one or two 
medical practitioners among the European and other 
residents at the harbour at Apia. Were their care 


in preventing disease equal to their anxiety to ob- 
tain a cure when the child is really ill, there would 
probably be less sickness among them, and fewer 

Adults. — The universal opinion of the natives is, 
that the mortality is now greater among young and 
middle-aged people than it was formerly. " It was 
common," they say, "to see three or four old men 
in a house, whereas you rarely see more than one 
now." Among a people destitute of statistics or 
records of any kind, it is difficult to speak correctly 
of an earlier date than some twenty-five years ago. 
Since that time, however, the population has been 
on the decrease. We have not observed any marked 
disproportion in the deaths of adults of any particular 
age, compared with other parts of the world. A 
person died in 1847, who was present at the massacre 
of M. de L angle and others connected with the ex- 
ploring expedition of La Perouse, in 1787, and who 
was then a youth of about fourteen years of age. 
Judging from his appearance, we may suppose that 
there are some in every village who must be sixty, 
seventy, and even eighty years of age. 

Diseases. — Pulmonary affections, paralysis, dis- 
eases of the spine producing humpback, ophthalmia, 
skin diseases, scrofulous and other ulcers, elephan- 
tiasis, and a species of leprosy, are among the prin- 
cipal diseases with which they are afflicted. Oph- 
thalmia and various diseases of the eye are very 
prevalent. There are few cases of total blindness ; 
but many have one of the organs of vision destroyed. 


Connected with diseases of the eye, pterygium is 
common; not only single, but double, triple, and 
even quadruple are occasionally met with. The 
leprosy of which we speak has greatly abated. The 
natives say that formerly many had it, and suffered 
from its ulcerous sores until all the fingers of a hand 
or the toes of a foot had fallen off. Elephan- 
tiasis, producing great enlargement of the legs and 
arms, has, they think, somewhat abated too ; only, 
they say, it prevails among the young men more now 
than it did formerly. Insanity is occasionally met 
with. It was invariably traced in former times to 
the immediate presence of an evil spirit. If furious, 
the party was tied hand to hand, and foot to foot, 
until a change for the better appeared. Idiots are 
not common. Consumption they called " Moomoo;" 
and there were certain native doctors who were sup- 
posed to be successful in spearing the disease, or, 
rather, the spirit causing it. The doctor, when sent 
for, would come in, sit down before the patient, and 
chant as follows : — 

" Moomoo e ! Moomoo e ! 
O le a ou velosia atu oe ;" 

which in English is : — 

" O Moomoo ! O Moomoo ! 
I'm on the eve of spearing you." 

Then he would rise up, flourish about with his spear 
over the head of the patient, and leave the house. No 
one dared speak or smile during the ceremony. In- 


fluenza is a new disease to the natives. They say- 
that the first attack of it ever known in Samoa was 
during the Aana war, in 1830, just as the mission- 
aries Williams and BarfF, with Tahitian teachers, 
first reached their shores. The natives at once traced 
the disease to the foreigners and the new religion ; 
the same opinion, spread through these seas, and, 
especially among the islands of the New Hebrides, 
has proved a serious hindrance to the labours of 
missionaries and native teachers. Ever since, there 
have been returns of the disease almost annually. 
It is generally preceded by unsettled weather, and 
westerly or southerly winds. Its course is from 
east to west. It lasts for about a month, and passes 
off as fine weather and steady trade- winds set in. 
In many cases, it is fatal to old people and those 
who have been previously weakened by pulmonary 
diseases. There was an attack in May, 1837, and 
another in November, 1846, both of which were un- 
usually severe and fatal. They have a tradition of 
an epidemic answering the description of cholera, 
which raged with fearful violence many years ago. 
In 1849, hooping-cough made its appearance, and 
prevailed for several months, among adults as well as 
children. A good many of the children died ; but it 
has long since quite disappeared. In 1851, another 
new disease surprised the natives, viz., the mumps. 
It was traced to a vessel from California, and soon 
spread all over the group. Scarcely a native escaped. 
It answered the usual description of the attack given 
in medical works, and passed off in ten days or a 


fortnight. Hitherto, they have been exempt from 
small-pox. Some years ago we vaccinated all the 
natives, and continue to do so, as often as we get a 
supply of vaccine lymph. 

Medicine. — The Samoans, in their heathenism, 
never had recourse to any internal remedy, except 
an emetic, which they sometimes tried after having 
eaten a poisonous fish. Sometimes, juices from the 
bush were tried ; at other times, the patient drank 
on at water until it was rejected ; and, on some 
occasions, mud, and even the most unmentionable 
filth was mixed up and taken as an emetic draught. 
Latterly, as their intercourse with Tongans, Fee- 
jeeans, Tahitians, and Sandwich Islanders increased, 
they made additions to their pharmacojioeia of juices 
from the bush. As in Egypt, each disease had its 
particular physician. Shampooing and anointing 
the affected part of the body with scented oil, by 
the native doctors, was common ; and to this, charms 
were frequently added, consisting of some flowers 
from the bush, done up in a piece of native cloth, 
and put in a conspicuous place in the thatch over 
the patient. 

The advocates of Jcinnesipathy, or the " Swedish 
Medical Gymnastics," would be interested in finding, 
were they to visit the South Seas, that most of their 
friction, percussion, and other manipulations, were in 
vogue there ages ago, and are still practised. Now, 
however, European medicines are eagerly sought 
after ; so much so, that every missionary is obliged 
to have a dispensary, and to set apart a certain 


hour every day to give advice and medicine to the 

As the Samoans supposed disease to be occa- 
sioned by the wrath of some particular deity, their 
principal desire, in any difficult case, was not for 
medicine, but to ascertain the cause of the calamity. 
The friends of the sick went to the high-priest of 
the village. He was sure to assign some cause ; 
and, whatever that was, they were all anxiety 
to have it removed, as the means of restoration. 
If he said they were to give up a canoe to the god, 
it was given up. If a piece of land was asked, it was 
passed over at once. Or, if he did not wish any- 
thing particular from the party, he would probably 
tell them to assemble the family, " confess, and throw 
out." In this ceremony, each member of the family 
confessed his crimes, and any judgments which, in 
anger, he had invoked on the family, or upon the 
particular member of it then ill ; and, as a proof 
that he revoked all such imprecations, he took a little 
water in his mouth, and spurted it out towards the 
person who was sick. The custom is still kept up 
by many, and the sick-bed of a dear friend often 
forms a confessional, before which long-concealed 
and most revolting crimes are disclosed. 

In surgery, they lanced ulcers with a shell or a 
shark's tooth, and, in a similar way, bled from the 
arm. For inflammatory swellings, they sometimes 
tried local bleeding ; but shampooing and rubbing 
with oil were, and are still, the more common reme- 
dies in such cases. Cuts they washed in the sea and 


bound up with a leaf. Into wounds in the scalp 
they blew the smoke of burnt chesnut wood. 
To take a barbed spear from the arm or leg, 
they cut into the limb from the opposite side, and 
pushed it right through. Amputation they never 

The treatment of the sick was, as it is now, 
invariably humane, and all that could be expected. 
They wanted for no kind of food which they might 
desire, night or day, if it was at all in the power 
of their friends to procure it. In the event of the 
disease assuming a dangerous form, messengers 
were despatched to friends at a distance, that they 
might have an opportunity of being in time to see, 
and say farewell to, a departing relative. This is 
still the custom. The greater the rank, the greater 
the stir and muster about the sick, of friends from 
the neighbourhood, and from a distance. Every 
one who goes to visit a sick friend, supposed to be 
near death, takes with him a present of a fine mat, 
or some other kind of valuable property, as a fare- 
well expression of regard. Among the worldly- 
minded, whose interests centre in this life, this 
heaping together of property by the bedside of a 
dying relative, is still in high repute. But the 
custom is being opposed. Many, in the light of 
Christianity, now shun it as cruelty to the dying, 
and an injury to the living. They wish to direct 
the thoughts of their departing relatives to heaven 
rather than earth, and are desirous that the house 
should be, for a time, a "house of mourning," and 




free from the distracting formalities, jealousies, and 
strifes, -which are invariably associated with such 
a collection of property, and its subsequent distri- 
bution among the members of the family, just before 
or immediately after death. 




Whenever the eye is fixed in death, the house be- 
comes a scene of indescribable lamentation and 
wailing. " Oh, my father, why did you not let me 
die, and you live here still!" " Oh, my brother, 
why have you run away, and left your only brother 
to be trampled upon!" " Oh, my child, had I 
known you were going to die ! Of what use is it 
for me to survive you; would that I had died for 
you!" These and other doleful cries may be heard 
two hundred yards from the house ; and, as you go 
near, you find that they are accompanied by the 
most frantic expressions of grief, such as rending 
garments, tearing the hair, thumping the face and 
eyes, burning the body with small piercing fire- 
brands, beating the head with stones till the blood 
runs, and this they called an "offering of blood" 
for the dead. Every one acquainted with the his- 
torical parts of the Bible will here observe remark- 
able coincidences. 

After- an hour or so, the more boisterous wailing 
subsides, and, as in that climate the corpse must be 7 
buried in a few hours, preparations are made with- 
out delay. The body is laid out on a mat, oiled 
with scented oil, and, to modify the cadaverous look, 


they tinge the oil for the face with a little turmeric. 
The body is then wound up with several folds of 
native cloth, the chin propped up with a little bundle 
of the same material, and the face and head left 
uncovered, while, for some hours longer, the body is 
surrounded by weeping relatives. If the person has 
died of a complaint which has carried off some other 
members of the family, they will probably open the 
body to " search for the disease." Any inflamed 
substance they happen to find they take away and 
burn, thinking that this will prevent any other 
members of the family being affected with the same 
disease. This is done when the body is laid in the 

While a dead body is in the house, no food is 
eaten under the same roof; the family have their 
meals outside, or in another house. Those who 
attended the deceased were formerly most careful 
not to handle food, and for days were fed by others 
as if they were helpless infants. Baldness and the 
loss of teeth were supposed to be the punishment 
inflicted by the household god if they violated the 
rule. Fasting was common at such times, and they 
who did so ate nothing during the day, but had a 
meal at night; reminding us of what David said, 
when mourning the death of Abner : " So do God to 
me, and more also, if I taste bread or ought else till 
the sun be down!" The fifth day was a day of 
"purification." They bathed the face and hands 
with hot water, and then they were "clean," and 
resumed the usual time and mode of eating. 


The death of a chief of high rank was attended 
with great excitement and display; all work was 
suspended in the settlement ; no stranger dared to 
pass through the place. For days they kept the 
body unburied, until all the different parties con- 
nected with that particular clan assembled from 
various parts of the islands, and until each party 
had, in turn, paraded the body, shoulder high, 
through the village, singing at the same time some 
mournful dirge. The body, too, was wrapped up 
in "the best robe," viz., the most valuable fine mat 
clothing which the deceased possessed. Great re- 
spect is still shown to chiefs on these occasions, and 
there was a recent instance of something like a 
"thirty days' mourning;" but the body is seldom 
paraded about the settlements now-a-days. 

The burial generally takes place the day after 
death. As many of the friends as can be present in 
time attend. Every one brings a present, and, the 
day after the funeral, these presents are all so dis- 
tributed again as that every one goes away with 
something in return for what he brought. Formerly, 
the body was buried without a coffin, except in the 
case of chiefs ; but now it is quite common to cut 
off the ends of some canoe belonging to the family, 
and make a coffin of it. The body being put into 
this rude encasement, all is done up again in some 
other folds of native cloth, and carried on the 
shoulders of four or five men to the grave. The 
friends follow, but in no particular order; and at 
the grave again there was often further wailing and 


exclamations, such as, " Alas ! I looked to you for 
protection, but you have gone away ; why did you 
die ! would that I had died for you !" Since the 
introduction of Christianity, all is generally quiet 
and orderly at the grave. The missionary, or some 
native teacher appointed by him, attends, reads a 
portion of Scripture, delivers an address, and en- 
gages in prayer, that the living may consider and 
prepare for the " time to die." 

The grave is called " the fast resting-place,' ' and, 
in the case of chiefs, " the house thatched with the 
leaves of the sandal- wood," alluding to the custom 
of planting some tree with pretty foliage near the 
grave. Attempts have been made to get a place set 
apart as the village burying- ground, but it is difficult 
to carry it out. All prefer laying their dead among 
the ashes of their ancestors on their own particular 
ground. As the bones of Joseph were carried from 
Egypt to Canaan, so did the Samoans carry the 
skulls of their dead from a land where they had been 
residing during war, back to the graves of their 
fathers, as soon as possible after peace was pro- 
claimed. The grave is often dug close by the house. 
They make it about four feet deep, and after 
spreading it with mats, like a comfortable bed, there 
they place the body with the head " to the rising of 
the sun," and the feet to the west. With the body 
they deposit several things which may have been 
used during the person's illness, such as his clothing, 
his drinking cup, and his bamboo pillow. The sticks 
used to answer the purpose of a pickaxe in digging 


the grave are also carefully buried with the body. 
Not that they think these things of use to the dead ; 
but it is supposed that, if they are left and handled 
by others, further disease and death will be the con- 
sequence. Other mats are spread over the body, on 
these a layer of white sand from the beach, and then 
they fill up the grave. The spot is marked by a 
little heap of stones, a foot or two high. The grave 
of a chief is neatly built up in an oblong slanting 
form, about three feet high at the foot and four at 
the head. White stones or shells are intermixed 
with the top layer, and, if it has been a noted 
warrior, his grave may be surrounded with spears, 
or his gun laid loosely on the top. 

Embalming is known and practised with sur- 
prising skill in one particular family of chiefs. Un- 
like the Egyptian method, as described by Herodotus, 
it is performed in Samoa exclusively by women. 
The viscera being removed and buried, they, day 
after day, anoint the body with a mixture of oil and 
aromatic juices. To let the fluids escape, they con- 
tinue to puncture the body all over with fine needles. 
In about two months, the process of desiccation is 
completed. The hair, which had been cut and laid 
aside at the commencement of the operation, is now 
glued carefully on to the scalp by a resin from the 
bush. The abdomen is filled up with folds of native 
cloth ; the body is wrapped up with the same ma- 
terial, and laid out on a mat, leaving the hands, 
face, and head exposed. A house is built for the 
purpose, and there the body is placed with a sheet 


of native cloth loosely thrown over it. Now and 
then the face is oiled with a mixture of scented oil 
and turmeric, and passing strangers are freely ad- 
mitted to see the remains of the departed. At 
present there are four bodies laid out in this way in 
a house belonging to the family to which we refer, 
viz., a chief, his wife, and two sons. They are laid 
on a platform, raised on a double canoe. It must 
be upwards of thirty years since some of them were 
embalmed, and, although thus exposed, they are in 
a remarkable state of preservation. They assign no 
particular reason for this embalming, further than 
that it is the expression of their affection, to keep 
the bodies of the departed still with them as if they 
were alive.* 

Burnings for the dead. — On the evening after the 
burial of any important chief, his friends kindled a 
number of fires at distances of some twenty feet 
from each other, near the grave ; and there they sat 
and kept them burning till morning light. This 
was continued sometimes for ten days after the 
funeral; it was also done before burial. In the 
house where the body lay, or out in front of it, fires 
were kept burning all night by the immediate rela- 
tives of the departed. The common people had a 
similar custom. After burial, they kept a fire blazing 

* Since writing the above these bodies have been buried. 
None were allowed to dress them but a particular family of 
old ladies, who have all died ofF; and, as there was a super- 
stitious fear on the part of some, and an unwillingness on the 
part of others, to handle them, it was resolved at last to lay 
them underground. 


in the house all night, and had the space between 
the house and the grave so cleared as that a stream 
of light went forth all night from the fire to the 
grave. Whether this had its origin in any custom 
of burning the dead body, like the ancient Greeks, 
it is impossible now to ascertain. The probability, 
however, is that it had not. The account the 
Samoans give of it is, that it was merely a light 
burning in honour of the departed, and a mark of 
tender regard. Just as, we may suppose, the Jews 
did after the death of Asa, when, it is said, " they 
made a very great burning for him." (2 Chron. xvi. 
14.) Those commentators who hold that this and 
one or two other passages refer to a Jewish mark 
of respect, and not to the actual burning of the 
body, have, in the Samoan custom which we have 
just named, a remarkable coincidence in their 

The unburied occasioned great concern. No Ro- 
man was ever more grieved at the thought of his 
unburied friend wandering a hundred years along 
the banks of the Styx than were the Samoans, while 
they thought of the spirit of one who had been 
drowned, or of another who had fallen in war, 
wandering about neglected and comfortless. They 
supposed the spirit haunted them everywhere, night 
and day, and imagined they heard it calling upon 
them in a most pitiful tone, and saying, " Oh, how 
cold! oh, how cold!" Nor were the Samoans, like 
the ancient Romans, satisfied with a mere " tumulus 
inanis" (or, empty grave), at which to observe the 


usual solemnities ; they thought it was possible to 
obtain the soul of the departed, in some tangible 
transmigrated form. On the beach, near where a 
person had been drowned, or on the battle-field, 
where another fell, might be seen, sitting in silence, 
a group of five or six, and one a few yards be- 
fore them with a sheet of native cloth spread out 
on the ground before him. Addressing some god 
of the family, he said, " Oh, be kind to us ; let us 
obtain without difficulty the spirit of the young 
man !" The first thing that happened to light upon 
the sheet was supposed to be the spirit. If nothing 
came, it was supposed that the spirit had some ill- 
will to the person praying. That person after a 
time retired, and another stepped forward, addressed 
some other god, and waited the result. By and by 
something came; grasshopper, butterfly, ant, or 
whatever else it might be, it was carefully wrapped 
up, taken to the family, the friends assembled, and 
the bundle buried with all due ceremony, as if it 
contained the real spirit of the departed. The 
grave, however, was not the hades of the Samoans. 




The entrance to the hades of the Samoans was sup- 
posed to be a circular basin among the rocks, at the 
west end of Savaii. Savaii is the most westerly 
island of the group. When a person was near 
death, it was thought that the house was surrounded 
by a host of spirits, all waiting to take the soul away 
to their subterranean home at the place referred to. 
If at night, the people of the family were afraid to go 
out of doors, lest they should be snatched away by 
some one of these invisible powers. As soon as the 
spirit left the body, it was supposed to go, in com- 
pany with this band of spirits, direct to the west 
end of Savaii. If it was a person residing on one of 
the more easterly islands of the group — on Upolu, 
for example — they travelled on, by land, to the west 
end of the island, not to a Charon, but to a great 
stone, called "the stone to leap from." It was 
thought that the spirits here leaped into the sea, 
swam to the island of Manono, crossed the land to 
the west point of that island, again leaped from 
another stone there, swam to Savaii, crossed fifty 
miles of country there again, and at length reached 
the Fafd, or entrance to their imaginary world of 
spirits. There was a cocoa-nut tree near this spot, 


and it was supposed that, if the spirit happened to 
come in contact with the tree, it returned, and the 
person who seemed to be dead, revived and reco- 
vered. If, however, the spirit did not strike against 
the tree, it went down the Fafa at once. 

At this place, on Savaii, there are two circular 
basins, not many feet deep, still pointed out as the 
place where the spirits went down. One, which is 
the larger of the two, was supposed to be for chiefs ; 
the other for common people. These lower regions 
were reported to have a heaven, an earth, and a sea, 
and people with real bodies, planting, fishing, cook- 
ing, and otherwise employed, just as in the present 
life. At night their bodies were supposed to change 
their form, and become like a confused collection of 
sparks of fire.. In this state, and during the hours 
of darkness, they were said to ascend and revisit 
their former places of abode, retiring at early dawn, 
either to the bush or back to the lower regions. It 
was supposed that these spirits had power to return, 
and cause disease and death in other members of the 
family. Hence, all were anxious, as a person drew 
near the close of life, to part in good terms with 
him, feeling assured that, if he died with angry feel- 
ings towards any one, he would certainly return, 
and bring some calamity upon that very person, or 
some one closely allied to him. This was considered 
a frequent source of disease and death, viz., the 
spirit of a departed member of the family returning 
and taking up his abode in the head, or chest, or 
stomach of the party, and so causing sickness and 


death. The spirits of the departed were also sup- 
posed to come and talk, through a certain member 
of the family, prophesying various events, or giving 
directions as to certain family affairs. If a man died 
suddenly, it was thought that he was eaten by the 
spirit that took him. His soul was said to go to 
the common residence of the departed ; only it was 
thought that such persons had not the power of 
speech, and could only, in reply to a question, " beat 
their breasts." 

The chiefs were supposed to have a separate place 
allotted them, called Pulotu (or, according to Eng- 
lish orthography, Poolotoo*), and to have plenty of 
the best of food, and other indulgences. Saveasiuleo 
was the great king, or Pluto, of these subterranean 
regions, and to him all yielded the profoundest 
homage. He was supposed to have the head of a 
man, and the upper part of his body reclining in a 
great house in company with the spirits of departed 
chiefs. The extremity of his body was said to 
stretch away into the sea, in the shape of an eel or 
serpent. He ruled the destinies of war and other 
affairs. His great house or temple was supported, 
not by pillars of wood or stone, but by columns of 
living men — men who on earth had been chiefs of 
the highest rank. Chiefs, in anticipation of death, 
were often pleased with the thought of the high 
honour which awaited them, of being at once the 

* Those familiar with the islands of the Indian Archipelago 
will remember that one of the most easterly is called Booro. 


ornament and support of the mansion of the great 
chief of their Pulotu Paradise. Here, again, we 
have another striking coincidence with the language 
of Scripture, and one which throws an additional 
interest around our instructions, as we read and 
expound the words of Him who exhorted his people 
to perseverance by the cheering declaration, appli- 
cable to all, high and low, rich and poor, " Him that 
overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my 

Thirty years ago the Samoans were living under 
the influence of a host of imaginary deities, and 
steeped in superstition. At his birth, as we have 
already remarked, every Samoan was supposed to be 
taken under the care of some tutelary or protecting 
god, or aitu, as it was called. The help of perhaps 
half a dozen different gods was invoked in succession 
on the occasion, but the one who happened to be 
addressed just as the child was born, was marked 
and declared to be that child's god for life. 

These gods were supposed to appear in some 
visible incarnation, and the particular thing in which 
his god was in the habit of appearing, was, to the 
Samoan, an object of veneration. It was, in fact, 
his idol, and he was careful never to injure it or 
treat it with contempt. One, for instance, saw his 
god in the eel, another in the shark, another in the 
turtle, another in the dog, another in the owl, 
another in the lizard ; and so on throughout all the 
fish of the sea, and birds, and four-footed beasts, 
and creeping things. In some of the shell-fish, even, 


gods were supposed to be present. A man would 
eat freely of what was regarded as the incarnation of 
the god of another man, but the incarnation of his 
own particular god he would consider it death to 
injure or to eat. The god was supposed to avenge 
the insult by taking up his abode in that person's 
body, and causing to generate there the very thing 
which he had eaten, until it produced death. This 
class of genii, or tutelary deities, they called aitu 
fale, or gods of the house. 

The father of the family was the high-priest, and 
usually offered a short prayer at the evening meal, 
that they might all be kept from fines, sickness, war, 
and death. Occasionally, too, he would direct that 
they have a family feast in honour of their house- 
hold gods ; and on these occasions a cup of their 
intoxicating ava draught was poured out as a drink- 
offering. They did this in their family house, where 
they were all assembled, supposing that their gods 
had a spiritual presence there, as well as in the ma- 
terial objects to which we have referred. Often it 
was supposed that the god came among them, and 
spoke through the father or some other member of 
the family, telling them what to do in order to 
remove a present evil, or avert a threatened one. 
Sometimes it would be, that the family should get a 
canoe built, and keep it sacred to the god. They 
might travel in it and use it themselves, but it was 
death to sell or part with a canoe which had been 
built specially for the god. 

Another class of Samoan deities may be called 


gods of the town or village ; " according to the 
number of thy cities were thy gods," would be 
applicable to a Samoan in reminding him of former 
times. Every village had its god, and every one 
born in that village was regarded as the property of 
that god. I have got a child for so-and-so, a woman 
would say on the birth of her child, and name the 
village god. There was a small house or temple 
also consecrated to the deity of the place. Where 
there was no formal temple, the great house of 
the village, where the chiefs were in the habit of 
assembling, was the temple for the time being, as 
occasion required. Some settlements had a sacred 
grove as well as a temple, where prayers and offer- 
ings were presented. The Swift One, the Sacred 
One, Destruction, the God of Heaven, the Great 
Seer, the King of Pulotu were the names of some of 
their village gods. 

In tlieir temples, they had generally something 
for the eye to rest upon with superstitious venera- 
tion. In one might be seen a conch shell, sus- 
pended from the roof in a basket made of cinnet 
network ; and this the god was supposed to blow 
when he wished the people to rise to war. In an- 
other, two stones were kept. In another, something 
resembling the head of a man, with white streamers 
flying, was raised on a pole at the door of the 
temple, on the usual day of worship. In another, a 
cocoa-nut shell drinking-cup was suspended from the 
roof, and before it prayers were addressed and offer- 
ings presented. This cup was also used in oaths. 


If they wished to find out a thief, the suspected 
parties were assembled before the chiefs, the cup 
sent for, and each would approach, lay his hand on 
it, and say : " With my hand on this cup, may the 
god look upon me, and send swift destruction, if I 
took the thing which has been stolen." The stones 
and the shells were used in a similar way, but the 
cup is especially interesting. (See Kitto's " Bible 
Illustrations," vol. i. p. 426, on " Divining Cups.") 
Before this ordeal, the truth was rarely concealed. 
They firmly believed that it would be death to touch 
the cup and tell a lie. 

The priests, in some cases, were the chiefs of the 
place ; but, in general, some one in a particular 
family claimed the privilege, and professed to declare 
the will of the god. His office was hereditary. He 
fixed the days for the annual feasts in honour of the 
deity, received the offerings, and thanked the people 
for them. He decided also whether or not the 
people might go to war. 

The offerings were principally cooked food. As 
in ancient Greece, so in Samoa, the first cup was in 
honour of the god. It was either poured out on the 
ground, or waved towards the heavens, reminding 
us again of the Mosaic ceremonies. The chiefs all 
drank a portion out of the same cup, according to 
rank ; and, after that, the food brought as an offer- 
ing was divided and eaten, " there before the Lord." 
This feast was annual, and frequently about the 
month of May. In some places, it passed off quietly ; 
in others, it was associated with games, sham-fights, 



night- dances, etc., and lasted for days. In time of 
war, special feasts were ordered by the priests. Of 
the offerings on war occasions, women and children 
were forbidden to partake, as it was not their pro- 
vince to go to battle. They supposed it would 
bring sickness and death on the party eating who 
did not go to the war, and hence were careful to 
bury or throw into the sea whatever food was over 
after the festival. In some cases, the feasts in 
honour of the god were regulated by the appear- 
ance in the settlement of the bird which was thought 
to be the incarnation of the god. Whenever the 
bird was seen, the priest would say that the god 
had come, and fix upon a day for his entertainment. 
The village gods, like those of the household, 
had all some particular incarnation : one was sup- 
posed to appear as a bat, another as a heron, ano- 
ther as an owl. If a man found a dead owl by the 
roadside, and if that happened to be the incarnation 
of his village god, he would sit down and weep over 
it, and beat his forehead with stones till the blood 
flowed. This was thought pleasing to the deity. 
Then the bird would be wrapped up, and buried 
with care and ceremony, as if it were a human body. 
This, however, was not the death of the god. He 
was supposed to be yet alive, and incarnate in all 
the owls in existence. The flight of these birds was 
observed in time of war. If the bird flew before 
them, it was a signal to go on; but if it crossed 
the path, it was a bad omen, and a sign to retreat. 
Others saw their village god in the rainbow, others 


saw him in the shooting star ; and, in time of war, 
the position of a rainbow and the direction of a 
shooting star were always ominous. 

The constant dread of the gods, and the nume- 
rous and extravagant demands of a cunning and 
avaricious priesthood, made the heathenism of Samoa 
a hard service. On the reception of Christianity, 
temples were destroyed, the sacred groves left to be 
overrun by the bush, the shells and stones and 
divining cups were thrown away, and the fish and 
fowls which they had previously regarded as incar- 
nations of their gods were eaten without suspicion 
or alarm. In a remarkably short time, under God's 
blessing, hardly a vestige of the entire system was to 
be seen. 




The mythology of Samoa, like that of all heathen 
nations, whether savage or civilized, abounds in 
obscenities and absurdities. An hour, however, is 
not altogether lost in turning over the heap of 
rubbish. At one time, we fall in with something 
which throws light on the origin of the people ; at 
another we have some curious coincidences with 
the tales of modern as well as ancient civilized 
nations ; and often we pause in deep interest, as we 
recognize some fragment, or corroboration, of Scrip- 
ture history. 

The tales to which we refer would fill volumes. 
The few which we have selected will probably suffice 
as a specimen of the rest. 


The earliest traditions of the Samoans describe a 
time when the heavens alone were inhabited, and the 
earth covered over with water. Tangaloa, the great 
Polynesian Jupiter, then sent down his daughter in 
the form of a bird called the turi (a snipe), to search 
for a resting-place. After flying about for a long 


time, she found a rock partially above the surface of 
the water.* This looks like the Mosaic account of 
the deluge ; but the story goes on to the origin of 
the human race. Turi went up and told her father 
that she had found but one spot on which she could 
rest. Tangaloa sent her down again to visit the place. 
She went to and fro repeatedly, and, every time she 
went up, reported that the dry surface was extend- 
ing on all sides. He then sent her down with some 
earth, and a creeping plant, as all was barren rock. 
She continued to visit the earth, and return to the 
skies. Next visit, the plant was spreading. Next 
time, it was withered and decomposing. Next visit, 
it swarmed with worms. And the next time, the 
worms had become men and women ! A strange 
account of man's origin ! But how affectingly it 
reminds one of his end ! " They shall lie down alike 
in the dust, and the worms shall cover them." 


The Samoans have no consecutive tales of these 
early times ; but we give the disjointed fragments as 
we find them. They say, that of old the heavens fell 
down, and that people had to crawl about like the 
lower animals. After a time, the arrow-root and 
another similar plant pushed up the heavens. The 

* Another account represents Tangaloa as rolling down from 
the heavens two great stones, one of which became the island of 
Savaii, the other, Upolu. Both accounts compare with the 
mythology of the Battas. (See Marsden's Sumatra, p. 385.) 


place where these plants grew is still pointed out, and 
called the Te'enga-langi, or heaven-pushing place. 
But the heads of the people continued to knock on 
the skies. One day, a woman was passing along 
who had been drawing water. A man came up to 
her, and said, that he would push up the heavens, if 
she would give him some water to drink. " Push 
them up first," she replied. He pushed them up. 
" "Will that do ?" said he. " No ; a little further." 
He sent them up higher still, and then she handed 
him her cocoa-nut shell water-bottle. Another ac- 
count says, that a person named Tiitii pushed up 
the heavens ; and the hollow places in a rock, nearly 
six feet long, are pointed out as his footprints. 


They tell about a man called Losi, who went up 
on a visit to the heavens. He found land and sea 
there, people, houses, and plantations. The people 
were kind to him, and supplied him with plenty of 
food. This was the first time he had seen or tasted 
taro. He sought for some in the plantations, and 
brought it down to the earth, and hence, they say, 
the origin of taro. They do not say how he got up 
and down, but another similar tale speaks of a tree 
whose top reached to the heavens, and by which 
parties went up and down. When that tree fell, 
they say, its trunk and branches extended a distance 
of nearly sixty miles. In this and the following tale 
we are reminded of Jacob's ladder. 



Two young men, named Punifanga and Tafaliu, 
determined one afternoon to pay a visit to the moon. 
Punifanga said lie knew a tree by which they could 
go up. Tafaliu was afraid it might not reach high 
enough, and said he would try another plan. Puni- 
fanga went to his tree, but Tafaliu kindled a fire, 
and heaped on cocoa-nut shells and other fuel, so as 
to raise a great smoke. The smoke rose in a dense, 
straight column like a cocoa-nut tree, towering away 
into the heavens. Tafaliu then jumped on to the 
column of smoke, and went up and reached the 
moon long before Punifanga. One wishes to know 
what they did next, but here the tale abruptly ends, 
with the chagrin of Punifanga, when he got up and 
saw Tafaliu there before him, sitting laughing at him 
for having been so long on the way. 


In another story, we are told that the moon came 
down one evening, and picked up a woman, called 
Sina, and her child. It was during a time of famine. 
She was working in the evening twilight, beating 
out some bark with which to make native cloth. 
The moon was just rising, and it reminded her of a 
great bread-fruit. Looking up to it, she said, " Why 
cannot you come down, and let my child have a bit 
of you?" The moon was indignant at the idea of 


being eaten, came down forthwith, and took her 
up, child, board, mallet, and all. The popular super- 
stition of " the man in the moon, who gathered sticks 
on the Sabbath-day," is not yet forgotten in England ; 
and so, in Samoa, of the woman in the moon. " Yon- 
der is Sina," they say, " and her child, and her 
mallet and board." 


We have a fragment or two, also, about the sun. 
A woman, called Mangamangai, became pregnant by 
looking at the rising sun. Her son grew, and was 
named " Child of the Sun." At his marriage, he 
asked his mother for a dowery. She sent him to his 
father, the sun, to beg from him, and told him how 
to go. Following her directions, he went one morn- 
ing with a long vine from the bush, which is the 
convenient substitute for a rope, climbed a tree, threw 
his rope with a noose at the end of it, and caught 
the sun. He made known his message, and (Pan- 
dora like) got a present for his bride. The sun first 
asked him what was his choice — blessings or calami- 
ties. He chose, of course, the former, and came 
down with his store of blessings done up in a basket. 
There is another tale about this Samoan Phaethon, 
similar to what is related of the Hawaiian Maui. 
They say, that he and his mother were annoyed at 
the rapidity of the sun's course in those days — that 
it rose, reached the meridian, and set, " before they 
could get their mats dried." He determined to 


make it go slower. He climbed a tree one morning 
early, and, with a rope and noose all ready, watched 
for the appearance of the snn. Just as it emerged 
from the horizon, he threw, and caught it. The sun 
struggled to get clear, but in vain. Then, fearing 
lest he should be strangled, he called out in distress, 
" Oh, have mercy on me, and spare my life ! What 
do you want ?" "We wish you to go slower; we 
can get no work done.' , " Yery well," replied the 
sun ; "let me go, and, for the future, I will walk 
slowly, and never go quick again." He let go the 
rope, and, ever since, the sun has gone slowly, and 
given us longer days. Ludicrous and puerile as all 
this is, one cannot help seeing in it the wreck of that 
sublime description in the book of Joshua, of the day 
when that man of God stood in the sight of Israel 
and said : " Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and 
thou moon in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun 
stood still, and the moon stayed until the people had 
avenged themselves upon their enemies." 


There are but few tales in Samoa in which we can 
trace the deluge ; nor are these so circumstantial as 
those which obtain in some other parts of the Pacific. 
(See Ellis's "Polynesian Researches," vol. i. pp. 386, 
etc.) It is the universal belief, however, that " of 
old, the fish swam where the land now is ;" and 
tradition now adcls, that, when the waters abated, 
many of the fish of the sea were left on the land, 


and afterwards were changed into stones. Hence, 
they say, there are stones in abundance in the bush, 
and among the mountains, which were once sharks, 
and other inhabitants of the deep. 


According to Samoan tradition, many things of 
old had their battles ; and one account gives a num- 
ber of them in the following order : " The god Fe'e, 
of the lower regions, fought with the deep under- 
ground rocks ; the god was beaten, and the rocks 
conquered. The low rocks fought with the high 
rocks ; the low were beaten, and the high rocks con- 
quered. The high rocks fought with the hollow 
(volcanic, cavernous) rocks ; the high rocks were 
beaten, and the hollow rocks conquered. The hollow 
rocks fought with the rocks level with the ground ; 
the hollow rocks were beaten, and the low, ground 
rocks conquered. The ground rocks fought with the 
earth ; the ground rocks were beaten, and the earth 
conquered. The earth fought with the small stones ; 
the earth was beaten, and the small stones conquered. 
The small stones fought with the small grass ; the 
stones were beaten, and the grass conquered. The 
small grass fought with the strong weedy grass ; the 
small grass was beaten, and the strong grass con- 
quered. The strong grass fought with the long grass 
of the bush ; the strong grass was beaten, and the 
bush grass conquered. The bush 'grass fought with 
the trees ; the grass was beaten, and the trees con- 


quered. The trees fought with the creepers ; the 
trees were beaten, and the creepers conquered. And 
then began the wars of men." "Would that the wars 
of men had been as bloodless as those which pre- 
ceded them ! 

The principle seems to be, that wherever one 
thing prevails to excess above another thing, be it 
rock, stone, earth, grass, or tree, we are sure to find 
some tradition about its having had its battle and 
its victory. The old poetic Samoan forefathers, who 
framed these fabulous fights, added a great deal of 
circumstance and minuteness to their tales, and all 
is seriously believed by some of their more prosaic 

We have also accounts of battles fought by the 
birds, on the one side, and the fish of the sea on the 
other. The fish, they say, were beaten, and the birds 
conquered ; and, ever since, the birds have the right 
of going to the sea to pick up as many fish as come 
within their reach. 

The appearance or form of a thing has also sug- 
gested many a tale, of which the following are ex- 
amples. They say that the rat had wings formerly, 
and that the bat (Pteropus javanicus) at that time 
had no wings. One day the bat said to the rat : 
" Just let me try on your wings for a little, that I 
may see how I like flying." The rat lent the bat his 
wings. Off flew the bat with the wings, and never 
came back with them again. This fable is quite a 
proverb, and often applied to a person who borrows 
a thing and does not return it. Take another illus- 


tration. With, the exception of the mountain plan- 
tain, all the bananas have their bunches of fruit hang- 
ing down towards the earth, like a bunch of grapes. 
The plantain shoots up its bunch of fruit erect 
towards the heavens. As the reason of this, we are 
told that, of old, all the bananas held their heads 
erect, but that they quarrelled with the plantain, 
fought, and were beaten, and, ever since, have hung 
their heads in token of their defeat. I recollect hear- 
ing an old speaker referring to this in an address at 
a missionary meeting, and applying it to the cause 
of Christ. " The cause of Jesus," said he, " will at 
length appear victorious over every opposition. It 
stands with its head erect to the heavens. All its 
enemies will eventually be driven, and hang their 
heads in shame and disgrace for ever." 


The late Dr. Kitto, in one of the sections of his 
" Daily Bible Illustrations," remarks, that fire was 
probably as unknown to Adam as it was unneeded 
by him, before the fall, and then alludes to some 
curious traditions respecting its discovery. It is 
beyond dispute, that islands and tribes have been 
found, in various parts of the world, where the use 
of fire was quite unknown ; and hence, we may sup- 
pose that the traditions in Samoa on this subject 
were, at some remote period, founded on fact. The 
Samoans say, that there was a time when their fore- 
fathers ate everything raw ; and that they owe the 


luxury of cooked food to one Ti'iti'i, the son of a 
person called Talanga. This Talanga was high in 
favour with the earthquake god Mafuie, who, like 
the Vulcan of the Greeks, lived in a subterranean 
region, where there was fire continually burning. On 
going to a certain perpendicular rock, and saying, 
" Rock, divide ! I am Talanga ; I have come to 
work;" the rock opened, and let Talanga in; and 
he went below to his plantation in the land of this 
god Mafuie. One day, Ti'iti'i, the son of Talanga, 
followed his father, and watched where he entered. 
The youth, after a time, went up to the rock, and, 
feigning his father's voice, said, "Rock, divide! I 
am Talanga; I have come to work;" and was ad- 
mitted too. His father was at work in his planta- 
tion, was surprised to see his son there, and begged 
him not to talk loud, lest the god Mafuie should hear 
him, and be angry. Seeing smoke rising, he inquired 
of his father, what it was. His father said it was 
the fire of Mafuie. " I must go and get some," said 
the son. " No," said the father ; " he will be angry. 
Don't you know he eats people ?" " What do I care 
for him !" said the daring youth; and off he went, 
humming a song, towards the smoking furnace. 

" Who are you ?" said Mafuie. 

"lam Ti'iti'i, tbe son of Talanga. I am come 
for some fire." 

"Take it," said Mafuie. 

He went back to his father with some cinders, and 
the two set to work to bake some taro. They kin- 
dled a fire, and were preparing the taro to put on the 


hot stones, when suddenly the god Mafuie blew up 
the oven, scattered the stones all about, and put out 
the fire. "Now," said Talanga, " did not I tell you 
Mafuie would be angry ?" Ti'iti'i went off in a rage 
to Mafuie, and, without any ceremony, commenced 
with, "Why have you broken up our oven, and put 
out our fire ?" Mafuie was indignant at such atone 
and language, rushed at him, and there they wrestled 
with each other. Ti'iti'i got hold of the right arm 
of Mafuie, grasped it with both hands, and gave it 
such a wrench that it broke off. He then seized the 
other arm, and was going to twist it off next, when 
Mafuie declared himself beaten, and implored Ti'iti'i 
to have mercy, and spare his left arm. 

" Do let me have this arm," said he ; "I need it 
to hold Samoa straight and level. Give it to me, 
and I will let you have my hundred wives." 

" No, not for that," said Ti'iti'i. 

" Well, then, will you take fire? If you let me 
have my left arm, you shall have fire, and you may 
ever after this eat cooked food." 

"Agreed," said Ti'iti'i; "you keep your arm, 
and I liavej^re." 

"Go," said Mafuie; "you will find the fire in 
every ivoocl you cut." 

And hence, the story adds, Samoa, ever since the 
days of Ti'iti'i, has eaten cooked food from the fire 
which is got from the friction of rubbing one piece of 
dry wood against another. 

The superstitious still have half an idea that 
Mafuie is down below Samoa somewhere ; and that 


the earth has a long handle there, like a walking- 
stick, which Mafuie gives a shake now and then. It 
was common for them to say, when they felt the 
shock of an earthquake, " Thanks to Ti'iti'i, that 
Mafuie has only one arm : if he had two, what a 
shake he would give ! " 

The natives of Savage Island have a somewhat 
similar tale about the origin of fire. Instead of 
Talanga and Ti'iti'i, they give the names of Maui, 
the father, and Maui the son. Instead of going 
through a rock, their entrance was down through a 
reed bush. And, instead of a stipulation for the fire, 
they say that the youth Maui, like another Prome- 
theus, stole it,- ran up the passage, and before his 
father could catch him, he had set the bush in flames 
in all directions. The father tried to put it out, but 
in vain ; and they further add, that ever since the 
exploit of young Maui, they have had fire and cooked 
food in Savage Island. 

It is true what Dr. Kitto says, in the article to 
which we have already referred : "A volume — and 
one of no common interest — might be written on the 
origin, the history, the traditions, the powers, and 
the uses of fire, which was of old worshipped in many 
nations as a god." — (" Daily Bible Illustrations," 
vol. i. p. 104.) 




The Samoans have a tradition, that of old their 
forefathers had no houses. They say that in those 
days the people were " housed by the heavens," 
and describe the ingenuity of a chief who first con- 
trived to build houses. He had two sons, and, out 
of love to them, built for each of them a house. 
The places where the houses stood are also pointed 
out, and form the names of two divisions of a dis- 
trict at the east end of Upolu. The one is called 
the " upper house," and the other the " lower 

But, leaving tradition, imagine # a gigantic bee- 
hive, thirty feet in diameter, a hundred in circum- 
ference, and raised from the ground about four feet 
by a number of short posts, at intervals of four feet 
from each other all round, and you have a good idea 
of the appearance of a Samoan house. The spaces 
between these posts, which may be called open 
doors or windows, all round the house, are shut in 
at night by roughly-plaited cocoa-nut leaf blinds. 
During the day the blinds are pulled up, and all the 
interior exposed to a free current of air. The floor 
is raised six or eight inches with rough stones ; then 
an upper layer of smooth pebbles ; then some cocoa- 

houses. 257 

nut-leaf mats, and then a layer of finer matting. 
Houses of important chiefs are erected on a 
raised platform of stones three feet high. In the 
centre of the house there are two, and sometimes 
three, posts or pillars, twenty feet long, sunk three 
feet into the ground, and extending to and sup- 
porting the ridge pole. These are the main props 
of the building. Any Samson pulling them away 
would bring down the whole house. The space 
between the rafters is filled up with what they call 
ribs, viz., the wood of the bread-fruit tree, split up 
into small pieces, and joined together so as to form 
a long rod the thickness of the finger, running from 
the ridge pole down to the eaves. All are kept in 
their places, an inch and a half apart, by cross 
pieces, made fast with cinnet. The whole of this 
upper cagelike work looks compact and tidy, and, 
at the first glance, is admired by strangers as being 
alike novel, ingenious, and neat. The wood of the 
bread-fruit tree, of which the greater part of the best 
houses are built, is durable, and, if preserved from 
wet, will last fifty years. 

The thatch, also, is laid on with great care and 
taste ; the long dry leaves of the sugar-cane are 
strung on to pieces of reed five feet long ; they are 
made fast to the reed by overlapping the one end of 
the leaf, and pinning it with the rib of the cocoa-nut 
leaflet, run through from leaf to leaf horizontally. 
These reeds, thus fringed with the sugar-cane leaves 
hanging down three or four feet, are laid on, begin- 
ning at the eaves and running up to the ridge pole, 


each one overlapping its fellow an inch or so, and 
made fast one by one with cinnet to the inside rods 
or rafters. Upwards of a hundred of these reeds of 
thatch will be required for a single row running 
from the eaves to the ridge pole ; then they do 
another row, and so on all round the house. Two, 
three, or four thousand of these fringed reeds may 
be required for a good-sized house. This thatching, 
if well done, will last for seven years. To collect 
the sugar-cane leaves, and " sew," as it is called, 
the ends on to the reeds, is the work of the women. 
An active woman will sew fifty reeds in a day, and 
three men will put up and fasten on to the roof of 
the house some five hundred in a day. Zinc, felt, 
and other contrivances are being tried by European 
residents ; but, for coolness and ventilation, nothing 
beats the thatch. The great drawback is, that in 
gales it stands up like a field of corn, and then the 
rain pours into the house. That, however, may be 
remedied by a network of cinnet, to keep down the 
thatch, or by the native plan of covering all in with 
a layer of heavy cocoa-nut leaves on the approach of 
a gale. 

These great circular roofs are so constructed 
that they can be lifted bodily off the posts, and 
removed anywhere, either by land, or by a raft of 
canoes. But in removing a house, they generally 
divide the roof into four parts, viz., the two sides, 
and the two ends, where there are particular joints 
left by the carpenters, which can easily be untied, 
and again fastened. There is not a single nail in 

houses. 259 

the whole building ; all is made fast with cinnet. As 
Samoan houses often form presents, fines, doweries, 
as well as articles of barter, they are frequently- 
removed from place to place. The arrangement of 
the houses in a village has no regard whatever to 
order. You rarely see three houses in a line. 
Every one puts his house on his little plot of 
ground, just as the shade of the trees, the direction 
of the wind, the height of the ground, etc., may suit 
his fancy. 

A house, after the usual Samoan fashion, has but 
one apartment. It is the common parlour, dining- 
room, etc., by day, and the bed-room of the whole 
family by night. They do not, however, altogether 
herd indiscriminately. If you peep into a Samoan 
house at midnight, you will see five or six low oblong 
tents pitched (or rather strung up) here and there 
throughout the house. They are made of native 
cloth, five feet high, and close all round down to the 
mat. They shut out the musquitoes, and inclose a 
place some eight feet by five ; and these said tent- 
looking places may be called the bed-rooms of the 
family. Four or five mats laid loosely, the one on 
the top of the other, form the bed. The pillow is a 
piece of thick bamboo, three inches in diameter, 
three to five feet long, and raised three inches from 
the mat by short wooden feet. The sick are in- 
dulged with something softer, but the hard bamboo 
is the invariable pillow of health. The bedding is 
complete with a single sheet of calico or native 


After private prayer in the morning, the tent 
is unstrung, mats, pillow, and sheet rolled to- 
gether, and laid up overhead on a shelf between 
the posts in the middle of the house. Hence, to 
"make the bed" in Samoa, is, no doubt, much the 
same thing which Peter meant when he said to 
iEneas (Acts ix. 34), " Arise, and make thy bed." 

These rolls of mats and bedding, a bundle or two 
done up in native cloth, on the same shelf in the 
centre of the house, a basket, a fan or two, and a 
butcher's knife stuck into the thatch within reach, a 
fishing-net, a gun strung up along the rafters, a few 
paddles, a wooden chest in one corner, and a few 
cocoa-nut shell water-bottles in another, are about 
all the things in the shape of furniture or property 
you can see in looking into a Samoan house. The 
fire-place is about the middle of the house. It is 
merely a circular hollow, two or three feet in diame- 
ter, a few inches deep, and lined with hardened clay. 
It is not used for cooking, but for the purpose of 
lighting up the house at night. A flaming fire, as 
we have already remarked (p. 200), was the regular 
evening offering to the gods, as the family bowed 
the head, and the fathers prayed for prosperity from 
the " gods great and small." The women collect, 
during the day, a supply of dried cocoa-nut leaves, 
etc., which, with a little management, keep up a 
continued blaze in the evening, while the assembled 
family group have their supper and prayer, and sit 
together chatting for an hour or two afterwards. 
Many now-a-days burn an oil-lamp instead ; and you 

HOUSES. 261 

see in their houses a table, it may be, a sofa, a form, 
a chair or two, a few earthenware dishes, and some 
other conveniences of civilized life. 

Oblong houses, divided into two or three apart- 
ments, more suited to the devotional and other 
wants of a well-regulated Christian family, are now 
seen here and there ; and a bedstead, instead of the 
mats laid on the floor. 

But about house-building : it is a distinct trade 
in Samoa; and perhaps, on an average, you may 
find one among every three hundred men who is a 
master carpenter. Whenever this person goes to 
work, he has in his train some ten or twelve, who 
follow him, some as journeymen, who expect pay- 
ment from him, and others as apprentices, who are 
principally anxious to learn the trade. When a 
young man takes a fancy to the trade, he has only 
to go and attach himself to the staff of some master 
carpenter, follow him from place to place for a few 
years, until he thinks he can take the lead in build- 
ing a house himself; and whenever he can point to 
a house which he has built, that sets him up as a 
professed carpenter, and he will from that time be 
employed by others. 

If a person wishes a house built, he goes with a 
fine mat, worth in cash value 20s. or 30s. He tells 
the carpenter what he wants, and presents him with 
the mat as a pledge that he shall be well paid for his 
work. If he accept the mat, that also is a pledge 
that he will undertake the job. Nothing is stipu- 
lated as to the cost ; that is left entirely to the 



honour of the employing party. At an appointed 
time the carpenter comes with his staff of helpers 
and learners. Their only tools are a felling-axe, 
a hatchet, and a small adze ; and there they 
sit, chop, chop, chopping, for three, six, or 
nine months, it may be, until the house is finished. 

Their ache reminds one 
of ancient Egypt. It is 
formed by the head of a 
small hatchet, or any 
other flat piece of iron, 
lashed on, at an angle of 
forty -five, to the end of 
a small piece of wood, 
eighteen inches long, as 
its handle. Of old they 
used stone and shell adzes. 
The man whose house is being built provides the 
carpenters with board and lodging, and is also at 
hand with his neighbours to help in bringing wood 
from the bush, scaffolding, and other heavy work. 
As we have just remarked, a Samoan house-builder 
makes no definite charge, but leaves the price of his 
work to the judgment, generosity, and means of 
the person who employs him. It is a lasting dis- 
grace to any one to have it said that he paid his 
carpenter shabbily. It brands him as a person of 
no rank or respectability, and is disreputable, not 
merely to himself, but to the whole family or clan 
with which he is connected. The entire tribe or 
clan is his bank. Being connected with that par- 


ticular tribe, either by birth or marriage, gives him 
a latent interest in all their property, and entitles 
him to go freely to any of his friends to ask for help 
in paying his house-builder. He will get a mat 
from one, worth twenty shillings ; from another he 
may get one more valuable still ; from another, some 
native cloth, worth five shillings ; from another, four 
or six yards of calico ; and thus he may collect, 
with but little trouble, two or three hundred useful 
articles, worth, perhaps, forty or fifty pounds ; and 
in this way the carpenter is generally well paid. 
Now and then there will be a stingy exception ; but 
the carpenter, from certain indications, generally sees 
ahead, and decamps, with all his party, leaving the 
house unfinished. It is a standing custom, that 
after the sides and one end of the house are finished, 
the principal part of the payment be made ; and it 
is at this time that a carpenter, if he is dissatisfied, 
will get up and walk off. A house with two sides 
and but one end, and the carpenters away, is indica- 
tive. Nor can the chief to whom the house belongs 
employ another party to finish -it. It is a fixed rule 
of the trade, and rigidly adhered to, that no one will 
take up the work which another party has thrown 
down. The chief, therefore, has no alternative but 
to go and make up matters with the original car- 
penter, in order to have his house decently com- 
pleted. When a house is finished, and all ready for 
occupation, they have their " house-warming," or, 
as they call it, its oven consecration ; and formerly it 
was the custom to add on to that a heathenish 


dance, for the purpose, they said, of " treading 
down the beetles." 

The system of a common interest in each other's 
property, to which we have referred, is clung to by 
the Samoans with great tenacity. They feel its 
advantages when they wish to raise a little. Not 
only a house, but also a canoe, a boat, a fine, a 
dowery, and everything else requiring an extra effort, 
is got up in the same way. They consider them- 
selves at liberty to go and take up their abode any- 
where among their friends, and remain without 
charge, as long as they please. And the same 
custom entitles them to beg and borrow from each 
other to any extent. Boats, tools, garments, money, 
etc., are all freely lent to each other, if connected 
with the same tribe or clan. A man cannot bear to 
be called stingy or disobliging. If he has what is 
asked, he will either give it, or adopt the worse 
course of telling a lie about it, by saying that he 
has it not, or that it is promised to some one else. 
This common property system is a sad hindrance to 
the industrious, and eats like a canker-worm at the 
roots of individual or national progress. No matter 
how hard a young man may be disposed to work, he 
cannot keep his earnings : all soon passes out of 
his hands into the common circulating currency. 
The only thing which reconciles one to bear with it 
until it gives place to the individual independence of 
more advanced civilization, is the fact that, with such 
a state of things, we have no " poor laws." The 
sick, the aged, the blind, the lame, and even the 

houses. 265 

vagrant, has always a house and home, and food and 
raiment, as far as he considers he needs it. A 
stranger may, at first sight, think a Samoan one of 
the poorest of the poor, and yet he may live ten 
years with that Samoan and not be able to make 
him understand what poverty really is, in the Eu- 
ropean sense of the word. " How is it ? " he 
will always say. "No food! Has he no friends? 
No house to live in ! Where did he grow ? Are 
there no houses belonging to his friends ? Have the 
people there no love for each other ?" 




Next to a well-built house, Samoan ingenuity is 
seen in their canoes. Any one almost can fell a 
tree, cut off the branches, and hollow out the log, 
some fifteen feet long, for a common fishing-canoe, 
in which one or two men can sit. But the more 
carefully-built canoe, with a number of separate 
planks raised from a keel, is the work of a distinct 
and not very numerous class of professed carpenters. 
The keel is laid in one piece, twenty-five to fifty 
feet long, as the size of the canoe may be, and to 
that they add board after board, not by overlapping 
and nailing, but by sewing each close to its fellow, 
until they have raised some two, or, it may be, three 
feet from the ground. These boards are not sawn, 
squared, and uniform, but are a number of pieces, or 
patches, as they are called, varying in size from 
eighteen inches to five feet long, as the wood split 
up from the log with felling axes happens to suit ; 
all, however, are well fastened together, and. with 
the help of a little gum of the bread-fruit tree for 
pitch, the whole is perfectly water-tight. In dress- 
ing each board, they leave a ledge, or rim, all round 
the edge, which is to be inside, making it double the 
thickness at the edge to what it is in the middle of 




CANOES. 267 

tlie board. It is through this ledge or rim they bore 
the holes, and with a few turns of cinnet, sew tight 
one board to the other. The sewing only appears 
on the inside. Outside all is smooth and neat ; and 
it is only on close inspection you can see that there 
is a join at all. They have timbers, thwarts, and 
gunwale, to keep all tight ; and over a few feet at 
the bow and the stern they have a deck, under which 
they can stow away anything. The decked part at 
the bow is the seat of honour, and there you gene- 
rally see the chief of the travelling party sitting 
cross-legged, at his ease, while the others are 

The width of a canoe varies from eighteen to 
thirty inches ; the length, from fifteen to fifty feet. 
But for an outrigger, it would be impossible to keep 
such a long, narrow thing steady in the water. The 
outrigger may be described, in any boat, by laying 
oars across at equal distances, say one right above 
a thwart. Make fast the handle of each oar to the 
gunwale on the starboard side of the boat, and let 
the oars project on the larboard side. To the end 
of each projecting oar make fast four small sticks 
running down towards the water, and let their ends 
also be fastened to a long thick piece of wood, sharp 
at the one end to cut through the water, and floating 
on the surface parallel to the boat. This being done 
will give any one an exact idea of a Polynesian out- 
rigger, by means of which long narrow canoes are 
kept steady in the water. 

Some people who sketch and engrave from ima- 



gination, err in representing the natives of Samoa as 
pulling their short paddles, as the European boat- 
man pulls his long oars. The paddle is about four 
feet long, something like a sharp-pointed shovel ; 
and when the natives paddle, they sit with their 
faces in the direction in which the 
canoe is going, " dig " in their pad- 
dles, send the water flying behind 
them, and forward the canoe shoots 
at the rate of seven miles an hour. 
They have always a sail for their 
canoe, as well as paddles, to take 
advantage of a fair wind. The sail 
is triangular, and made of matting. 
When set, the base is up, and the 
apex down, quite the reverse of 
what we see in some other islands. 
The mat sails, however, are giving 
place to cloth ones, made in the 
form of European boat- sails. 

Some two or three generations 
back the Samoans built large double 
canoes like the Feejeeans. Latterly 
they seldom built anything larger 
than a single canoe, with an outrigger, which might 
carry from fifteen to twenty people. Within the last 
few years the native carpenters have been trying 
their hand at boat-building, and it is astonishing to 
see how well they are succeeding in copying the 
model of an English or American whaleboat, sharp 
at both ends, or having " two bows," as they call it. 

CANOES. 269 

Some of them are fifty feet long, and carry well on 
to one hundred people. From stem to stern there 
is not a nail ; everything is fastened in their ancient 
style, with cinnet plaited from the fibre of the cocoa- 
nut husk. Cinnet is likely long to prevail in native 
canoe and boat-building. Although it looks clumsy, 
it has the advantage of not rotting the wood like an 
iron nail. It is durable also. With care, and the 
sewing once or twice renewed, a Samoan canoe will 
last twenty years. 

They do not paint their canoes, but decorate 
them with rows of white shells (Gyprcea ovula) 
running along the middle of the deck at the bow and 
stern, and also along the upper part of the out- 
rigger. Now and then you see a figure-head with 
some rude device of a human figure, a dog, a bird, 
or something else, which has from time immemorial 
been the " coat-of-arms " of the particular village or 
district to which the canoe belongs. A chief of 
importance must also have one, or perhaps two, 
large shells in his canoe, to answer the purpose of 
trumpets, to blow now and then as the canoe passes 
along. It attracts the attention of the villagers, 
and calls them out to look and inquire, "Who is 
that ?" The ambition to see and to be seen is as 
common in Polynesia as anywhere else. As the 
canoe approaches any principal settlement, or 
when it reaches its destination, there is a special 
too-too-too, or flourish of their shell trumpets, to 
herald its approach. The paddlers at the same time 
strike up some lively chant, and, as the canoe 


touches the beach, all is wound up with a united 
shout, having more of the yell in it, but the same in 
meaning as a " hip, hip, hurrah !" 

The French navigator Bougainville, seeing the 
Samoans so often moving about in their canoes, 
named the group " The Navigators." A stranger 
in the distance, judging from the name, may suppose 
that the Samoans are noted among the Polynesians 
as enterprising navigators. This is not the case. 
They are quite a domestic people, and rarely venture 
out of sight of land. The group, however, is exten- 
sive, and gives them some scope for travel. It 
numbers ten inhabited islands, and stretches east 
and west about 200 miles. Within these bounds 
they have kept up an intercourse from the earliest 
times in their history, which is fully proved, not 
only by tradition, but by the uniformity of customs 
and language which prevails from the one end of 
the group to the other. 




Fishing-nets of various kinds are in use, and are all 
manufactured on the islands. Several of the Poly- 
nesian tribes excel in this branch of industry. A 
captain of a ship of war, who was buying curiosities 
lately at Savage Island, actually refused their fine 
small fishing-nets, thinking that they must be articles 
of European manufacture. In Samoa, net-making is 
the work of the women, and confined principally to 
the inland villages. One would have thought that 
it would be the reverse, and that the coast districts 
would have made it their principal business. The 
trade being confined to the interior, is probably 
occasioned by its proximity to the raw material 
which abounds in the bush, viz., the bark of the 
hibiscus, already referred to in describing "fine 

After the rough outer surface of the bark has 
been scraped off with a shell on a board, the remain- 
ing fibres are twisted with the mere palm of the 
hand across the bare thigh into a strong whip-cord, 
or finer twine, according to the size of the meshes 
of the net. As the good lady's cord lengthens, she 
fills her netting-needle, and when that is full, works 


it into her net. Their wooden netting-needles are 
exactly the same in form as those in common use in 
Europe. One evening, in taking a walk, Mrs. Tur- 

ner and I stood for a few minutes and looked at a 
woman working a net. Mrs. Turner begged to be 
allowed to do a bit, took the needle, and did a few 
loops, to the no small amazement of the woman, 
who wondered how a European lady could know 
how to handle a Samoan netting-needle, and do 
Samoan work. 

They make nets of all sizes, from the small one 

of eighteen inches square to the seine of a hundred 
feet long. A net forty feet long and twelve feet deep 
can be had for native mats, or white calico, to the 


value of twenty shillings. A hundred men may be 
able to master some twenty nets. These they unite 
together, and, in the lagoon off their settlement, take 
large quantities of mullet and other fish. 

The pearl-shell fish-hook is another article, in the 
manufacture of which the Samoans show some inge- 
nuity. They cut a strip off the shell, 
from two to three inches long, and rub 
it smooth on a stone, so as to resemble 
a small fish. On the under side, or what 
may be called the belly, of this little 
mock fish, they fasten a hook made of 
tortoise-shell, or, it may be, an English 
steel one. Alongside of the hook, con- 
cealing its point, and in imitation of the 
fins of a little fish, they fasten two small 
white feathers. Without any bait, this 
pearl-shell contrivance is cast adrift at 
the stern of a canoe, with a line of 
twenty feet, and from its striking re- 
semblance to a little fish it is soon 
caught at, and in this way the Samoans secure a 
large quantity of their favourite food. No European 
fish-hook has yet superseded this purely native in- 
vention. They bait and use the steel fish-hook, how- 
ever, and in some cases use it on their pearl-shells, 
as we have just remarked, instead of the tortoise- 
shell fish-hook. 

A curious native drill is seen in connection with 
the manufacture of these little shell fish-hooks. Fine 
holes are drilled through the shell for the purpose of 


making fast the hook as well as the line, and the 
instrument to which we refer answers the purpose 
admirably. For the sake of comparison with other 
parts of the world, this simple con- 
trivance is worth a few lines of de- 
scription. Take a piece of wood, 
eighteen inches long, twice the thick- 
ness of a cedar pencil. Fasten with 
a strong thread a fine-pointed nail, or 
a sail-needle, to the end of this sort of 
spindle. Get a thick piece of wood, 
about the size of what is called in 
England a "hot cross bun," and in 
Scotland a " cookie," bore a hole in 
the centre of it, run the spindle through 
it, and wedge it fast about the middle 
of the spindle. At the top of the spindle 
fasten two strings, each nine inches 
long, to the ends of these strings attach the ends 
of a common cedar pencil, forming a triangle with a 
wooden base and string sides. Stand up the machine 
with your left hand, place the iron point where you 
wish to bore a hole, and steady the spindle with 
your left hand. Take hold of the pencil handle of 
the upper triangle, twirl round the spindle with your 
left hand, which will coil on the strings at the top to 
the spindle, pull down the pencil handle quickly, and 
then the machine will spin round. Work the handle 
in this way up and down, like a pump, the cord will 
alternately run off and on to the spindle, and the 
machine will continue to whirl round, first one way 



and then the other, until the pearl-shell, or what* 
ever it may be, is perforated. 

There is hardly anything else in the department 
of manufacture requiring par- 
ticular notice. "When speak- 
ing of garments, we refer- 
red to native cloth and mats. 
Large quantities of cinnet is 
plaited by the old men prin- 
cipally. They sit at then- 
ease in their houses, and 
twist away very rapidly. 
At political meetings also, 
where there are hours of 
formal palaver and speechi- 
fying, the old men take their 
work with them, and im- 
prove the time at the cleanly, 
useful occupation of twist- 
ing cinnet. It is a substitute for twine, and 
useful for many a purpose, and is sold at about a 
shilling per pound. Baskets and fans are made of the 

m w 

, m 

cocoa-nut leaflet, floor mats and a finer kind of 
baskets from the pandanus leaf. Twenty or thirty 
pieces of the rib of the cocoa-nut leaflet, fastened 



close together with a thread of cinnet, form a comb, 
Oval tubs are made by hollowing out a block of 
wood. Clubs, three feet long, from the iron-wood, 
or something else that is heavy. Spears, 
eight feet long, are made from the cocoa- 
nut tree, and barbed with the sting of 
the ray-fish ; a wicked contrivance, for 
it is meant to break off from the spear 
in the body of the unhappy victim. In 
nine cases out of ten, there is no way of 
cutting it out, and the poor creature dies 
in agony. 

The Samoans are an agricultural 
rather than a manufacturing people. In 

addition to their own individual wants, their hos- 
pitable custom in supplying, without money and 
without stint, the wants of visitors from all parts 


of the group, is a great drain on their plantations. 
The fact that a party of natives can travel from one 
end of the group to the other without a penny of 
expense for food and lodging, is an encouragement 
to pleasure excursions, friendly visits, and all sorts 
of travelling. Hardly a clay passes without there 
being some strangers in the "guest house" of the 
village, to be provided for by a contribution from 
every family in the place. After meeting fully, how- 
ever, all home wants, large quantities of yams, taro, 
and bananas, with pigs and poultry, are still to spare, 
and are sold to the ships which call for water and 

Arrow-root might be made to any extent for 
exportation, but the demand for it is small and 
uncertain. The Samoans, however, are favoured 
above many of the Polynesian groups in having, all 
ready to their hand, a valuable export in cocoa-nut oil. 
The manufacture of this is now common in every 
settlement, and there are trading agents located all 
over the group to buy it up. The mode of preparing 
it is simple. They split the nuts in two by a rap on 
a stone, grate out the kernel by rubbing it on the 
teeth of a bit of an old saw, or a piece of serrated 
hoop-iron. This scraped or grated kernel is then 
heaped into an old canoe, exposed to the sun, and, in 
a day or two, becomes a liquid oily mass. Separating 
it from the refuse, they fill in the pure oil to bam- 
boos, and take it to the merchant who pays them for 
it in cash, or calico, at the rate of a shilling per 
gallon. There is at present upwards of 500 tons of 


cocoa-nut oil made annually by the Samoans, and 
taken by the traders to the Sydney and Valparaiso 
markets. This will probably continue to be the 
principal Samoan export, as long as Samoa is under 
native rule. Should these islands, however, in course 
of time, become the " West Indies" of Australia, or 
be colonized by any enterprising foreign power, 
sugar, cotton, spices, and other intertropical pro- 
ductions will no doubt be extensively raised. In 
1858, the imports amounted to upwards of £34,000 ; 
that is to say, about a pound (20s.) to each of the 
population. The exports, for the same year, prin- 
cipally in cocoa-nut oil, were upwards of £20,000. 
Last year the imports were £30,105, and the ex- 
ports £25,441. 




A hurried glance, from a European stand-point, 
causes many passing visitors to conclude that the 
Samoans have nothing whatever in the shape of 
government or laws. In sailing along the coast of 
any island of the group, you can hardly discern 
anything but one uninterrupted mass of bush and 
vegetation, from the beach to the top of the moun- 
tains ; but, on landing, and minutely inspecting 
place after place, you find villages, plantations, 
roads, and boundary walls, in all directions along 
the coast, It is the same with their political aspect. 
It is not until you have landed, lived among the 
people, and for years closely inspected their move- 
ments, that you can form a correct opinion of the 
exact state of affairs. To any one acquainted with 
the aborigines of various parts of the world, and 
especially those of the Papuan groups in Western 
Polynesia., the simple fact that the Samoans have 
but one dialect, and free intercourse with each other 
all over the group, is proof positive that there must 
have existed there, even in heathenism, some system 
of government. 

In the days of heathenism, a good deal of order 


was maintained by the union of two things, viz., cicil 
power, and superstitious fear. 

I. As to the first of these, their government had, 
and still has, more of the patriarchal and democratic 
in it, than of the monarchical. Take a village, con- 
taining a population, say, of three to five hundred, 
and there will probably be found there, from ten to 
twenty titled heads of families, and one of the 
higher rank, called chiefs. The titles of the heads 
of families are not hereditary. The son may suc- 
ceed to the title which his father had, but it may 
be given to an uncle, or a cousin, and sometimes 
the son is passed over, and the title given, by com- 
mon consent, to a perfect stranger, merely for the 
sake of drawing him in, to increase the numerical 
strength of the family. What I now call a family 
is a combined group of sons, daughters, uncles, 
cousins, nephews, nieces, etc., and may number 
fifty individuals. They have one large house, as a 
common rendezvous, and for the reception of visitors, 
and four or five other houses, all near each other. 

The chiefs, on the other hand, are a more select 
class, whose pedigree is traced most carefully to the 
ancient head of some particular clan. One is chosen 
to bear the title, but there may be twenty other in- 
dividuals, who trace their origin to the same stock, 
call themselves chiefs too, and any of whom may 
succeed to the title on the death of the one who 
bears it. A chief, before he dies, may name some 
one to succeed him, but the final decision rests with 
the heads of families, as to which of the members of 


the chief family shall have the title, and be regarded 
as the village chief. In some cases, the greater part 
of a village is composed of parties who rank as chiefs, 
but, as a general rule, it consists of certain families 
of the more common order, which we have just 
mentioned, and some titled chief, to whom the 
village looks up as their political head and pro- 
tector. It is usual, in the courtesies of common 
conversation, for all to call each other chiefs. If 
you listen to the talk of little boys even, you will 
hear them addressing each other as chief this, that, 
and the other thing. Hence, I have heard a stranger 
remark, that the difficulty in Samoa is, not to find 
who is a chief, but to find out who is a common 

As the chief can call to his aid, in any emergency 5 
other chiefs connected wdth the same ancient stock 
from which he has sprung, and as he looks upon the 
entire village as his children, and feels bound to 
avenge their wrongs, it is thought essential to have 
some such character in every settlement. If any- 
thing in the clubbing way is to be done, no one but 
the chief, or his brother, or his son, dare do it. 
With few exceptions, he moves about, and shares in 
every-day employments, just like a common man. 
He goes out with the fishing party, works in his 
plantation, helps at house-building, and lends a hand 
at the native oven. There are still, however, 
although not at first sight to a European eye, well- 
defined marks of his chieftainship. If you listen to 
the conversation of the people, or attend a meeting 


of the heads of families for any village business, yon 
hear that he is addressed with sneh formalities as 
might be translated into our English Earl, Duke, 
Prince, or King So-and-so; and, instead of the 
plebeian you, it is, yonr Highness, yonr Grace, your 
Lordship, or your Majesty. When the ava-bowl is 
filled, and the cup of friendship sent round, the first 
cup is handed to him. The turtle, too, the best 
joint, and anything choice, is sure to be laid before 
the chief. Then, again, if he wishes to marry, the 
heads of families vie with each other in supplying 
him with all that is necessary to provide for the 
feasting, and other things connected with the cere- 
monies. He, on the other hand, has to give them 
ample compensation for all this, by distributing 
among them the fine mats which he gets as the 
dowery by his bride. A chief is careful to marry 
only in the family of a chief, and hence he has, by 
his wife, a portion worthy of the rank of a chiefs 
daughter. To some extent, these heads of families 
are the bankers of the chief. His fine mats, almost 
all go to them, and other property, too. They, 
again, are ready with a supply whenever he wishes 
to draw upon them, whether for fine mats, food, or 
other property. 

No lover of money was ever fonder of gold than 
a Samoan is of his fine mats. Hence, in the days of 
heathenism, the more wives the chief wished to 
have, the better the heads of families liked it, as 
every marriage was a fresh source of fine mat gain. 
To such an extent was this carried on, that one 


match was hardly over before another was in con- 
templation. If it did not originate with the chief, 
the heads of families wonld be concocting something, 
and marking out the daughter of some one as the 
object of the next fine mat speculation. The chief 
would yield to them, have the usual round of cere- 
monies, but without the remotest idea of living with 
that person as his wife. In this way a chief, in the 
course of his lifetime, might be married well on to 
fifty times ; he would not, however, probably have 
more than two living with him at the same time. 
As the heads of families were on the look-out to 
have the sons and daughters of the chief married as 
often as they could also, it can be imagined that the 
main connecting links between the heads of families 
and their chief, and that which marked him out 
most prominently as a superior, was this marriage, 
or rather polygamy business. 

At the very outset of missionary work, this Was 
one of the things which occasioned great practical 
difficulty. If a chief became a true follower of 
Christ, he had constant annoyance from the dis- 
satisfied heads of families, who could not, as 
formerly, make a tool of him to get property. Or, 
if the head of a family wished to act consistently 
with the Word of God, and oppose the adulterous 
schemes of an ungodly chief, he, too, was subjected 
to all sorts of ridicule and petty annoyance. It 
served, however, as a test of character; and we 
have had many noble instances in which a person 
has thrown up his title, from a desire to be eminent 


in conformity to the law of God, rather than in the 
reckless violation of God's will. 

The land in Samoa is owned alike by the chiefs 
and these heads of families. The land belonging to 
each family is well known, and the person who, for 
the time being, holds the title of the family head, has 
the right to dispose of it. It is the same with the 
chiefs. There are certain tracts of land which 
belong to them. The uncultivated bnsh is claimed 
by those who own the land on its borders. The 
lagoon also, as far as the reef, is considered the 
property of those off whose village it is situated. 
Although the power of selling land, and doing other 
things of importance affecting all the members of 
the family, is vested in the titled head of the family, 
yet the said responsible party dare not do anything 
without formally consulting all concerned. Were 
he to persist in attempting to do otherwise, they 
would take his title from him, and give it to an- 
other. The members of a family can thus take the 
title from their head, and heads of families can 
unite and take the title from their chief, and give 
it to his brother, or uncle, or some other member 
of the chief family, who, they think, will act more 
in accordance with their wishes. 

The chief of the village and the heads of families 
formed, and still form, the legislative body of the 
place, and the common court of appeal in all cases 
of difficulty. One of these heads of families is the 
sort of Prime Minister of the chief. It is his special 
business to call a meeting, and it is also his pro- 


vince to send notice to the other heads of families, 
on the arrival of a party of strangers, and to say 
what each is to provide towards entertaining hos- 
pitably the village guests. Having no written 
language, of course they had no written laws ; still, 
as far back as we can trace, they had well under- 
stood laws for the prevention of theft, adultery, 
assault, and murder, together with many other 
minor things, such as disrespectful language to a 
chief; calling him a pig, for instance, rude beha- 
viour to strangers, pulling down a fence, or mali- 
ciously cutting a fruit-tree. Nor had they only the 
mere laws ; the further back we go in their his- 
tory, we find that their penalties were all the more 
severe. Death was the usual punishment for mur- 
der and adultery ; and, as the injured party was at 
liberty to seek revenge on the brother, son, or any 
member of the family to which the guilty party 
belonged, these crimes were all the more dreaded 
and rare. In a case of murder, the culprit, and all 
belonging to him, fled to some other village of the 
district, or perhaps to another district; in either 
case, it was a city of refuge. While they remained 
away, it was seldom any one dared to pursue them, 
and risk hostilities with the village which protected 
them. They might hear, however, that their houses 
had been burned, their plantations and land taken 
from them, and they themselves prohibited, by the 
united voice of the chief and heads of families, from 
ever again returning to the place. Fines of large 
quantities of food, which provided a feast for the 


entire village, were common ; but there were fre- 
quently cases in which it was considered right to 
make the punishment fall exclusively on the culprit 
himself. For adultery, the eyes were sometimes 
taken out, or the nose and ears bitten off. For other 
crimes they had some such punishments as tying the 
hands of the culprit behind his back, and marching 
him along naked, something like the ancient French 
law of " amende honorable ;" or, tying him hand to 
hand and foot to foot, and then carrying him sus- 
pended from a prickly pole, run through between 
the tied hands and feet, and laying him down before 
the family or village against whom he had trans- 
gressed, as if he were a pig to be killed and cooked ; 
compelling the culprit to sit naked for hours in the 
broiling sun ; to be hung up by the heels ; or to beat 
the head with stones till the face was covered with 
blood ; or to play at hand-ball with the prickly sea- 
urchin ; or to take five bites of a pungent root, which 
was like filling the mouth five times with cayenne 
pepper. It was considered cowardly to shrink from 
the punishment on which the village court might 
decide, and so the young man would go boldly for- 
ward, sit down before the chiefs, bite the root five 
times, get up and walk away with his mouth on 
fire. But these barbarous penalties are done away 
with, and fines now are generally levied in food 
and property. In cases of murder and adultery, 
however, the old law of indiscriminate revenge is 
still at times carried out. 

Should two families in a village quarrel, and wish 


to fight, the other heads of families and the chief 
step in and forbid ; and it is at the peril of either 
party to carry on the strife, contrary to the decided 
voice of pnblic opinion. 

These village commnnities, of from two to five 
hundred people, consider themselves perfectly dis- 
tinct from each other, quite independent, and at 
liberty to act as they please on their own ground, 
and in their own affairs. 

Then, again, these villages, in numbers of eight 
or ten, unite by common consent, and form a dis- 
trict, or state, for mutual protection. Some parti- 
cular village is known as the capital of the district ; 
and it was common of old to have a higher chief 
than any of the rest, as the head of that village, and 
who bore the title of King. Just as in the individual 
villages, the chief and heads of families unite in 
suppressing strife when two parties quarrel; so it 
is in the event of a disturbance between any two 
villages of the district, the combined chiefs and 
heads of families of all the other villages unite in 
forbidding strife. When war is threatened by an- 
other district, no single village can act alone ; the 
whole district, or state, assemble at their capital, 
and have a special parliament to deliberate as to 
what should be done. 

These meetings are held out of doors. The 
heads of families are the orators and members of 
parliament. The kings and chiefs rarely speak. 
The representatives of each village have their known 
places, where they sit, under the shade of bread- 



fruit trees, and form groups all round the margin of 
an open space, called the malge (or forum), a thou- 
sand feet in circumference. Strangers from all 
parts may attend; and on some occasions there 
may be two thousand people and upwards at these 
parliamentary gatherings. The speaker stands up 
when he addresses the assembly, lays over his 
shoulder his fly-flapper, or badge of office similar 

to what is seen on some ancient Egyptian standards. 
He holds before him a staff six feet long, and leans 
forward on it as he goes on with his speech.* It is 
the province of the head village to have the opening 

* A Samoan orator does not let his voice fall, "but rather 
gradually raises it, so that the last word in a sentence is the 


or king's speech, and to keep order in the meeting; 
and it is the particular province of another to reply 
to" it, and so they go on. To a stranger the eti- 
quette and delay connected with such meetings is 
tiresome in the extreme. When the first speaker 
rises, other heads of families belonging to his 
village, to the number of ten or twenty, rise up, 
too, as if they all wished to speak. This is to show 
to the assembly that the heads of families are all at 
their post, and who they are. They talk among 
themselves for awhile, and it ends in one after an- 
other sitting down, after having passed on his right 
to speak to another. It is quite well known, in 
most cases, who is to speak, but they must have 
this preliminary formality about it. At last, after 
an hour, or more, all have sat down but the one 
who is to speak; and, laden by them with the 
responsibility of speaking, he commences. He is 
not contented with a mere word of salutation, such 
as, " Gentlemen," but he must, with great minute- 
ness, go over the names and titles, and a host of 
ancestral references, of which they are proud. An- 
other half hour is spent with this. Up to this time 
conversation goes on freely all round the meeting ; 
but whenever he comes to the point of his address, 
viz., the object of the meeting and an opinion on it, 
all is attention. After the first speech, it is probably 
mid-day, and then food is brought in. The young 
men and women of the family, decked off in their 
best, come in a string of ten or twenty to their 
chief, each carrying something, and, naming him, 



say it is food for him. He tells them to take it to 
so-and-so, and then they march off to that chief, 
and say that it is food from snch a one. This 
person will return the compliment by and by, and 
in this way there is, for hours, a delightful flow of 
friendship all over the place. On such occasions, 
parties who have been living at variance, have a fine 
opportunity of showing kindness to each other. 
Amid all this feasting, the speechifying goes on. As 
the debate advances, the interest increases. They 
generally break up at sundown ; but if it is some- 
thing of unusual interest and urgency, they go on 
speechifying in the dark, or in the moonlight, and 
may not adjourn till long after midnight. Unless all 
are pretty much agreed, nothing is done. They are 
afraid to thwart even a small minority. 

Throughout the Samoan group, there are, in all, 
ten of these separate districts such as I have de- 
scribed. In war some of the districts remain neutral, 
and of those engaged in the strife there may be two 
against one, or three against five, or, as in the late 
prolonged war, five against two. Of old, the district 
which was conquered, was exposed to the taunts 
and overbearing of their conquerors. But a sub- 
dued district seldom remained many years with the 
brand of "conquered." They were up and at it, as 
soon as they had a favourable opportunity, and were 
probably themselves in turn the conquerors. That 
memorable 1848 was the very year when a district 
on TJpolu, long called conquered, rose and leagued 
with another district to regain independence. This 


led to a general war which lasted nine years, and 
the issue was the present state of affairs, viz., inde- 
pendence and equality among the states all over the 
group. Some of these districts or states have their 
king ; others cannot agree on the choice of one ; 
and such is the isolated, independent state of these 
districts, that there is no such thing as a king, or 
even a district, whose power extends all over the 
group. The flag of any foreign power hoisted in 
any one district would no more be the taking pos- 
session of the islands, according to the Samoan view 
of the rights of the case, than would the hoisting of 
a flag on the coast of Spain be considered the right 
to rule over all the states of Europe. 

Consuls, captains of ships of war, merchants, and 
missionaries have done all they could to get these 
separate states of Samoa induced to form a union, 
with a house of representatives, having the higher 
chiefs in turn as president, or something of that kind, 
but, hitherto, all efforts have been in vain. Many 
wish a change, many more prefer remaining as they 
are, and it is impossible to say how long the Samoans 
will remain in their present political position, viz., 
each little community, of two to five hundred, having 
its own laws and form of government — uniting in 
districts of eight or ten villages for mutual protection 
— and these districts, again, combining in twos or 
threes, as occasion may require, in the event of insult, 
aggression, or other causes of war. 

But cannot the missionary, whose labours em- 
brace ten or fifteen of these separate villages, get all 


united within that given sphere to adopt certain laws 
in which all will agree, and carry these all over the 
group ? ~No, he cannot, for the simple reason, that 
in no given missionary district are all the chiefs and 
heads of families converted, and willing to abide by 
the laws of G-od. If in a village the majority of the 
heads of families, and the chief as well, are steady 
and good men, there will be a great deal of order 
and correct legislation there ; but in the very next 
village it may be quite the reverse. The missionary 
plods on, however, in the work of Christian instruc- 
tion, in the hope that, if not in this, in some other 
generation, the Samoans may see the propriety of 
adopting some more united form of government, 
better suited to their social prosperity and their 
intercourse with civilized nations ; if, indeed, they 
are not ere long compelled to give themselves up to 
be governed by some of the foreign powers, who, of 
late years, seem anxious to have possessions in the 

II. But I hasten to notice the second thing which 
I have already remarked was of old an auxiliary 
towards the maintenance of peace and order in 
Samoa, viz., superstitious fear. If the chief and 
heads of families, in their court of inquiry into any 
case of stealing, or other concealed matter, had a 
difficulty in finding out the culprit, they would make 
all involved swear that they were innocent. In 
swearing before the chiefs, the suspected parties laid 
a handful of grass on the stone, or whatever it was, 
which was supposed to be the representative of the 


village god, and, laying their hand on it, would say, 
" In the presence of our chiefs now assembled, I lay 
my hand on the stone. If I stole the thing may I 
speedily die." This was a common mode of swear- 
ing. The meaning of the grass was a silent additional 
imprecation, that his family might all die, and that 
grass might grow over their habitation. If all swore, 
and the culprit was still undiscovered, the chiefs then 
wound up the affair by committing the case to the 
village god, and solemnly invoking him to mark out 
for speedy destruction the guilty mischief-maker. 

But, instead of appealing to the chiefs, and call- 
ing for an oath, many were contented with their own 
individual schemes and imprecations, to frighten 
thieves and prevent stealing. When a man went to 
his plantation and saw that some cocoa-nuts, or a 
bunch of bananas, had been stolen, he would stand 
and shout at the top of his voice two or three times, 
" May fire blast the eyes of the person who has 
stolen my bananas ! May fire burn down his eyes 
and the eyes of his god too ! " This rang throughout 
the adjacent plantations, and made the thief tremble. 
They dreaded such uttered imprecations. Others 
cursed more privately when a thing was stolen, as we 
may suppose the mother of Micah did (Judges xvii. 2). 
In common disputes also, affecting the veracity of 
each other, it was customary for the one to say to 
the other, " Touch your eyes, if what you say is 
true." If he touched his eyes, the dispute was 
settled. It was as if he had said, " May I be cursed 
with blindness if it is not true what I say." Or the 


doubter would say to his opponent, " Who will eat 
you ? Say the name of your god." He whose word 
was doubted would then name the household god of 
his family, as much as to say, " May god so-and-so 
destroy me, if what I have said is not true." Or, 
the person whose word was doubted might adopt the 
more expressive course still, of taking a stick and 
digging a hole, in the ground, which was as if he 
said, " May I be buried immediately if what I say is 
not true." But there was another, and more extensive 
class of curses, which were also feared, and formed 
a powerful check on stealing, especially from plan- 
tations and fruit-trees, viz., the silent hieroglyphic 
taboo, or tapui (tapooe), as they called it. Of this 
there was a great variety, and the following are a 
specimen : — 

1. The sea-pike taboo. — If a man wished that a 
sea-pike might run into the body of the person who 
attempted to steal, say, his bread-fruits, he would 
plait some cocoa-nut leaflets in the form of a sea- 
pike, and suspend it from one or more of the trees 
which he wished to protect. Any ordinary thief 
would be terrified to touch a tree from which this 
was suspended. He would expect that the next time 
he went to the sea, a fish, of the said description, 
would dart up, and mortally wound him. 

2. The white shark taboo was another object of 
terror to a thief. This was done by plaiting a cocoa- 
nut leaf in the form of a shark, adding fins, etc., and 
this they suspended from the tree. It was tanta- 
mount to an expressed imprecation, that the thief 


might be devoured by the white shark the next time 
he went to fish. 

3. The cross-stick taboo. — This was a piece of any 
sort of stick suspended horizontally from the tree. 
It expressed the wish of the owner of the tree, that 
any thief touching it might have a disease running 
right across his body, and remaining fixed there till 
he died. 

4. The ulcer taboo. — This was made by burying 
in the ground some pieces of clam-shell, and erecting 
at the spot three or four reeds, tied together at the 
top in a bunch like the head of a man. This was to 
express the wish and prayer of the owner, that any 
thief might be laid down, like another Job, with 
ulcerous sores all over his body. If a thief trans- 
gressed, and had any subsequent swellings or sores, 
he confessed, sent a present to the owner of the land, 
and he, in return, sent back some native herb, as a 
medicine, and a pledge of forgiveness. 

5. The tic- dolour eux taboo. — This was done by 
fixing a spear in the ground close by the trees which 
the owner wished to guard. It was expressive of a 
wish that the thief might suffer from the face and 
head agonies of the disease just named. 

6. The death taboo. — This was made by pouring 
some oil into a small calabash, and burying it near 
the tree. The spot was marked by a little hillock of 
white sand. The sight of one of these places was 
also effectual in scaring away a thief. 

7. The rat taboo. — This was a small cocoa-nut 
leaf basket, filled with ashes from the cooking-house, 


and two or three small stones, and suspended from 
the tree. It signified a wish that rats might eat 
holes in the fine mats of the thief, and destroy any 
cloth, or other property which he might value. 

8. The thunder taboo. — If a man wished that 
lightning might strike any who should steal from his 
land, he would plait some cocoa-nut leaflets in the 
form of a small square mat, and suspend it from a 
tree, with the addition of some white streamers of 
native cloth flying. A thief believed that if he tres- 
passed, he, or some of his children, might be struck 
with lightning, or, perhaps his own trees struck and 
blasted from the same cause. They were not, how- 
ever, in the habit of talking about the effects of 
lightning. It was the thunder they thought did the 
mischief ; hence they called that to which I have just 
referred, the thmder taboo. 

From these few illustrations, it will be observed, 
that Samoa formed no exception to the remark- 
ably wide-spread system of superstitious taboo ; and 
the extent to which it preserved honesty and order 
among a heathen people will be readily imagined. 
At the present day, the belief in the power of these 
rude hieroglyphics is not yet eradicated. In passing 
along, you still see something with streamers flying, 
dangling from a tree in one place ; a basket sus- 
pended in another, and some reeds erect in a third. 
The sickness, too, and dying hours of some hardened 
thief still bring out confessions of his guilt. Facts 
such as these which have just been enumerated still 
further show the cruelties of the reign of super- 


stition, and exhibit, in striking contrast, the better 
spirit and the pnrer precepts tanght by that blessed 
volume which is now received, read, and practised by 
many in Samoa. In days of heathenism, there was 
no good rendered for evil there, and the only 
prayers for injurers and enemies were curses for 
their hurt and destruction. 




The murder of a chief, a disputed title, or a desire, 
on the part of one, two, or more of the districts, to 
be considered stronger and of more importance than 
the rest, were, of old, frequent causes of war in 
Samoa. Hostilities were often prevented by such 
acts as giving up the culprit, paying a heavy fine, 
or by bowing down in abject submission, not with 
ropes round their necks, but carrying firewood and 
small stones used in baking a pig, or, perhaps, a 
few bamboos. The firewood, stones, and leaves, 
were equivalent to their saying, " Here we are, your 
pigs, to be cooked if you please ; and here are the 
materials with which to do it." Taking bamboos 
in the hand was as if they said, " We have come^ and 
here are the knives to cut us up." A piece of split 
bamboo was, of old, the usual knife in Samoa. 

If, however, the chiefs of the district were deter- 
mined to resist, they prepared accordingly. The 
boundary which separated one district from another 
was the usual battle-field ; hence the villages next to 
that spot, on either side, w^ere occupied at once by 
the troops. The women and children, the sick and 
the aged, were cleared off to some fortified place in 
the bush, or removed to some other district which 

waks. 299 

was either neutral, or could be depended upon as an 
ally. Moveable property was either buried, or taken 
off with the women and children. The wives of the 
chiefs and principal men generally followed their 
husbands wherever they might be encamped, to be 
ready to nurse them if sick or wounded. A heroine 
would even follow close upon the heels of her hus- 
band in actual conflict, carrying his club or some 
other part of his armour. 

It was common for chiefs to take with them a 
present of fine mats, when they went to another dis- 
trict to solicit help in war, but there was no standing 
army or regularly paid soldiers anywhere. All was 
primitive. When the chiefs decided on war, every 
man and boy under their jurisdiction, old enough to 
handle a club, had to take his place as a soldier, or 
risk the loss of his lands and property, and banish- 
ment from the place. 

In each district there was a certain village, or 
cluster of villages, known as "the advance troops." 
It was their province to take the lead, and in battle 
their loss was double the number of that of any other 
village. Still they boasted of their right to lead, 
would on no account give it up to others, and talked 
in the current strain of other parts of the world about 
the " glory" of dying in battle. In a time of peace, 
the people of these villages had special marks of 
respect shown to them, such as the largest share of 
food at public feasts, flattery, etc. 

While war was going on, the chiefs and heads of 
families united in some central spot, and whatever 


they decided on, either for attack or defence, the 
young men endeavoured implicitly to carry out. 
Their weapons were, of old, clubs, spears, and slings. 
Subsequently, as iron was iotroduced, they got 
hatchets, and with these they made their most 
deadly weapon, viz., a sharp tomahawk, with a 
handle the length of a walking-stick. After that 
again they had the civilized additions of swords, 
pistols, guns, and bayonets. Around the village 
where the war party assembled, they threw a rough 
stockade, formed by any kind of sticks or trees cut 
into eight feet lengths, and put close to each other, 
upright, with their ends buried two feet in the ground. 
The hostile parties might be each fortified in this 
way not more than a mile from each other, and, now 
and then, venture out to fight in the intervening 
space, or to take each other by surprise at weak or 
unguarded points. In their war canoes, they had 
some distinguishing badge of their district hoisted 
on a pole, a bird it might be, or a dog, or a bunch of 
leaves. And, for the bush-ranging land forces, they 
had certain marks on the body by which they knew 
their own party, and which served as a temporary 
watchword. One day the distinguishing mark might 
be blackened cheeks ; the next, two strokes on the 
breast; the next, a white shell suspended from a 
strip of white cloth round the neck, and so on. 
Before any formal fight, they had a day of feasting, 
reviewing, and merriment. In action they never 
stood up in orderly ranks to shoot at each other. 
According to their notions that would be the height 

WARS. 301 

of folly. Their favourite tactics were rather of the 
surprise and bush- skirmishing order. In their fights, 
during the late war, I have known of from two to 
fifty killed on each side in a battle, never more. 
Prisoners, if men, were generally killed ; if women, 
distributed among the conquerors. In the battle 
which was fought in 1830, to avenge the death of 
Tamafainga (see p. 99), a fire was kindled and 
prisoners, to the extent of four hundred some say, 
were burned, but probably it did not reach the half 
of that number. 

Their heroes were the swift of foot, like Achilles 
or Asahel ; men who could dash forward towards a 
crowd, hurl a spear with deadly precision, and stand 
for awhile, tilting off with his club other spears 
as they approached him within an inch of running 
him through. They were ambitious also to sig- 
nalize themselves by the number of heads they could 
lay before the chiefs. No hero at the Grecian games 
rejoiced more over his chaplet, than did the Samoan 
glory in the distinction of having cut off a man's 
head. As he went along with it, through the vil- 
lages, on the way to the place where the chiefs were 
assembled, waiting the hourly news of the battle, he 
danced, and capered, and shouted, calling out every 
now and then the name of the village, and adding, 
" I am so-and-so, I have got the head of such a 
one." When he reached the spot where the chiefs 
were met, he went through a few more evolutions, 
and then laid down the head before them. This, 
together with the formal thanks of the chiefs before 


the multitude for his bravery and successful fighting, 
was the very height of a young man's ambition. He 
made some giddy, frolicsome turns on his heel, and 
was off again to try and get another victim. These 
heads were piled up in a heap in the malae or public 
assembly, just as of old "at the entering in of the gate" 
of Jezreel (2 Kings x. 7, 8). The head of the most 
important chief was put on the top, and, as the tale 
of the battle was told, they would say, " There were 
so many heads, surmounted by the head of so-and-so," 
giving the number and the name. After remaining 
for some hours piled up, they were either claimed by 
their relatives, or buried on the spot. A rare illustra- 
tion of this ambition to get heads occurred about ten 
years ago. In an unexpected attack upon a village 
one morning, a young man fell stunned by a blow. 
Presently he recovered consciousness, felt the weight 
of some one sitting on his shoulders and covering his 
neck, and the first sounds he heard was a dispute going 
on between two as to which of them had the right to 
cut off his head ! He made a desperate effort, jostled 
the fellow off his back, sprang to his feet, and, with his 
head all safe in his own possession, soon settled the 
matter by leaving them both far behind him. 

The headless bodies of the slain, scattered about 
in the bush after a battle, if known, were buried, if 
unknown, left to the dogs. In some cases the whole 
body was pulled along in savage triumph and laid 
before the chiefs. One day, when some of us were in 
a war-fort endeavouring to mediate for peace, a dead 
body of one of the enemy was dragged in, preceded 

WARS. . 303 

by a fellow making all sorts of fiendish gestures, with 
one of the legs in his teeth cut off by the knee. 

Connected with Samoan warfare several Scrip- 
ture coincidences may be noted, such as consulting the 
gods, taking a priest to battle to pray for his people 
and curse the enemy, filling up wells, destroying 
fruit-trees, going to battle decked off in their most 
valuable clothing and trinkets, haranguing each 
other previous to a fight, the very counterpart of 
Abijah the king of Judah, and even word for word, 
with the filthy-tongued Rabshakeh. 

If the war became general, and involving several 
districts, they formed themselves into a threefold 
division of highway, bush, and sea-fighters. The 
fleet might consist of three hundred men, in thirty 
or forty canoes. The bush-rangers and the fleet 
were principally dreaded, as there was no calculating 
where they were, or when they might pounce un- 
awares upon some unguarded settlement. The fleet 
met apart from the land forces, and concocted their 
own schemes. They would have it all arranged, for 
instance, and a dead secret, to be off after dark to 
attack a particular village belonging to the enemy. 
At midnight they land at an uninhabited place some 
miles from the settlement they intend to attack. They 
take a circuitous course in the bush, surround the 
village from behind, having previously arranged to 
let the canoes slip on quietly, and take up their posi- 
tion in the w^ater in front of the village. By break 
of day, they rush into the houses of the unsuspecting 
people before they have well waked up, chop off as 


many heads as they can, rush with them to their 
canoes, and decamp before the young men of the 
place have had time to mnster or arm. Often they 
are scared by the people, who, during war, keep a 
watch, night and day, at all the principal openings 
in the reef; but, now and then, the plot succeeds, 
and there is fearful slaughter. It was in one of these 
early morning attacks from the fleet, that the young 
man to whom I have referred had such a narrow 
escape. That morning many were wounded, and 
the heads of thirteen carried off. One of them was 
that of a poor old man, who was on his knees at his 
morning devotions, when off went his head at a 
blow. In another house that same morning there 
was a noble instance of maternal heroism, in a 
woman who allowed herself to be hacked from head 
to foot, bending over her son to save his life. It is 
considered cowardly to kill a woman, or they would 
have despatched her at once. It was the head of her 
little boy they wanted, but they did not get it. The 
poor woman was in a dreadful state, but, to the sur- 
prise of all, recovered. 

The late prolonged war, to which I have re- 
peatedly referred, originated in a quarrel between 
two of the districts or provinces. Slumbering 
enmity on both sides was roused, and a general 
war was the consequence, in which there were five 
districts, or states, leagued against two. The five 
wished supremacy, and the two held for equal 
rights. After a good deal of bloodshed, and a nine 
years' struggle, the five states gave up the contest, 

WAKS. 305 

and agreed that there should be liberty and equality 
all over the group. 

Throughout the struggle we observed as much 
neutrality as we conscientiously could. We did not 
disguise from the five that they were wrong in wish- 
ing to have a despotic government. This, however, 
did not make us their enemies. They always ap- 
peared friendly. They would say to each other, 
" These missionaries are from a foreign country ; 
they do not understand our Samoan politics. They 
are good men, nevertheless, and are not living here 
for their own personal gain. They wish to teach us 
the Word of God ; let us be respectful to them, and 
hear all they have to say." The two states who 
were standing out against the five, knowing that we 
were for the liberty and balance of power which they 
sought, were all the better pleased with us ; and 
thus we were regarded as the friends of both parties, 
and had free access to them all from first to last. 
We often went among them endeavouring to me- 
diate, but they would take their own way. We gave 
medicine to their sick, dressed their wounds, and 
were admitted to any part of their forts every Sab- 
bath-day to conduct religious services. Throughout 
all the nine years, they never fought on a Sabbath, 
and that is more than can be said of some other 
countries, who make higher pretensions to Chris- 
tianity and civilization. Even when the war was 
at its height, and one of the principal forts closely 
hemmed in, I have passed with perfect freedom on 
the Sabbath, from the trenches of the besiegers to 


the fort of the besieged, and was received and 
listened to at both places with the greatest respect. 

When the war broke out in 1848 we were not 
without our fears for the safety of our Institution 
for Native Teachers. We feared lest some lawless 
chief, thirsting for blood, on account of a parent, or 
son, or friend, lost in battle, should, in accordance 
with the ancient rule of indiscriminate revenge, 
either openly or stealthily, enter our premises, and 
take the lives of some of the students related to the 
enemy. Such an attack would not have surprised 
us, although it might have led us to the painful 
conclusion that it would be our duty to break up 
the seminary until hostilities were ended. Nothing, 
however, occurred to stop our labours. Predictions 
werc^ife, that every young man on the premises 
would be off to the war ; but only two men and a 
boy proved faithless, and at the close of the war 
our number, instead of being diminished, was more 
than doubled. We allowed no one on the premises 
to have fire-arms, or to be seen with any other war 
weapon. The young men bore the appearance of 
the strictest neutrality ; and their being entirely 
occupied with other duties, together with a kind 
demeanour to any of the war parties who appeared 
in our neighbourhood, were, under God, the means 
of gaining much respect and freedom from annoy- 

The day after one of the battles a rude rush was 
made upon our premises, and some of the houses 
unceremoniously searched by a party, from a fleet 

WARS. 307 

of fifteen canoes, in pursuit of their enemies. It was 
supposed that a number of the wounded had taken 
refuge in the institution, and that half a dozen or 
more of their heads might be easily obtained. They 
had, it is true, been with us, but as soon as we 
dressed their wounds and gave them some medicine, 
they were off across the channel to another island. 
As soon as the pursuing party landed, I ran down 
to the place where they were, shook hands with a 
number of them I knew, and implored them to be 
quiet, and keep up the muzzles of their guns, as one 
might go off, and accidentally shoot a person. I 
assured them that not one of the enemy was on the 
premises, to my knowledge. They begged pardon 
for their rudeness, and, at the order of their leader, 
were all in their canoes again in a few minutes. 
They pushed off a yard or two from the beach, held 
on for a little, and then one of them stood up in the 
bow of a canoe, and addressed us as follows : — " Just 
one word to you, the missionary, and to you, the 
teachers, assembled in that sacred seminary. Bear 
with us in this rude conduct. Before we leave, 
tell us if you have missed anything. Teachers ! be 
stedfast. Yours is the right course. Our hearts 
are not in this wicked work. Keep close to the 
cause of God. That is where our hearts are, and we 
hope ere long to be there ourselves. Health and 
prosperity to you all! " It affected some of us to 
tears to hear such a speech from such a quarter. 
We replied that we did not know of anything 
having been stolen, and hoped they would do all 


they could to bring their unhappy strife to a speedy 
end, and soon return to the better employments of 
the service of God. 

Hungry hordes of foraging parties were frequently 
in our neighbourhood, scouring the bush in search 
for bread-fruits, or anything edible, and, no doubt, 
were often tempted to put forth their hand on the 
unguarded plantations of the institution. Samoan 
troops have no commissariat department to depend 
upon. Every one must forage for himself, either 
on his own grounds, or on the lands of other tribes. 
All is common property while the war lasts. It was 
seldom, however, that either of the war parties 
touched an article belonging to us. All the nine 
years there was only one foraging party which 
deliberately, and to any extent, stole from our 
grounds. It was on a Saturday, and so great was 
their subsequent alarm about it, that on the very- 
next day, although it was Sabbath, and even 
although they and all in the fort were in a state 
bordering on starvation, they returned and brought 
back the stolen bread-fruits. 

Seeing a fleet of canoes returning one day, after 
having chased some canoes of the enemy, and hear- 
ing that they had caught a woman and a girl, I went 
out as they passed, and spoke to them. They gave 
up the girl. I begged them to give up the woman, 
too, but they would not, assuring me, at the same 
time, that her life was quite safe. The poor girl 
seemed demented with fear; and it was not until 
she had sat for some time on our verandah, that we 

WAES. 309 

could get a coherent sentence from her. As I had 
occasion to travel in that direction, I took her home 
in my boat to her parents, on an adjacent island, a 
few days afterwards. 

Unlike the wars of old heathen times, hardly 
a single village in this late struggle was united. 
There was an anti-war party of church members and 
other steady people, belonging to almost every set- 
tlement, who, for various reasons, stood aloof from 
the contention, and took up their abode in the 
neighbourhood of their nearest missionary. As the 
war continued, one and another broke off and joined 
the peace party. In some cases they were pursued, 
and punished by the chiefs as deserters. They 
quietly bore the plundering and house-burning. It 
neither changed their minds, nor deterred others. 
Every week the peace party was steadily on the 
increase ; and the fact that the chiefs were losing 
all their soldiers was a principal reason in urging 
them to wind up the fruitless strife, and proclaim 
peace. The forts were immediately broken up, the 
deserted villages were soon cleared and reoccupied ; 
and long may Samoa be preserved from the scourge 
of civil war ! 




In 'the course of inquiry into Polynesian manners, 
customs, and modes of thought, I have often been 
struck with the illustrations which they furnish of 
Bible narratives. As everything is valuable which 
throws a ray of light on the sacred records, I have 
noted some of the more prominent of these Scrip- 
ture coincidences, and, for the convenience of refer- 
ence, will now give them in alphabetical order. The 
subject is worthy of study, as it is pregnant with 
facts, alike interesting to the Scripture student and 
the ethnologist. 

Unless otherwise named, the following notes are 
gathered from Samoa. That, however, may be 
taken as the centre of a wide circle, throughout 
which many of the very same, or kindred, illustra- 
tions may be found. 

1. "Adulterer . . . shall surely be put to death," 
Lev. xx. 10. This was also Samoan law (see p. 86). 

2. All.—" All the cattle of Egypt died," Exod. 
ix. 6. Hyperbolical probably for many, as is indi- 
cated by ver. 20. This is a very common form of 
speech in Samoa. If two or three houses fall in a 
gale, the tale goes that " all are down, not one 
standing." Or, if a number of the people are suffer- 


ing from an epidemic, the report spreads that " the 
whole land is covered with beds." 

3. Ambush. — As described in Joshua, chap. viii. 
This is a well-known branch of Samoan war tactics. 

4. Anointing. — "Thou anointest my head with 
oil," Ps. xxiii. 5. Scented oil for the profuse anoint- 
ing of the head and shoulders is a common mark 
of kind hospitality in Samoa. In travelling it pro- 
tects from the burning rays of the sun, and prevents 
excessive and weakening perspiration. In going to 
battle, also, they are dripping with oil. 

5. Anointing. — " Anointing him with oil," James 
v. 14. This is a common remedy in the Pacific, 
also, in cases of sickness or bruises. It is applied 
with and without a superstitious, or supposed, 
virtue in the hand, or in the prayers of the anointer. 
Men and women are alike employed as anointing 

6. Armour. — " Take thee his armour," 2 Sam. ii. 
21. It is common in many parts of Polynesia, as in 
ancient Scripture and Homeric times, for the hero to 
glory over the armour of the enemy (seep. 44). A 
Samoan, however, was more anxious to obtain the 
head of his enemy than his club. 

7. "Arrows . . . the poison whereof," etc., Job 
vi. 4. Arrows, so often referred to in Scripture, are 
still in use in the South Seas, principally where^fire- 
arms have not been introduced. They are made of 
a piece of reed, three or four feet long, pointed or 
barbed, with a bit of hard wood. In the New 
Hebrides we find them pointed with a piece of 


human bone, and sometimes dipped in poisonous 
mixtures from the bush. 

8. Ashed. — " Solomon gave unto the Queen of 
Sheba . . . whatsoever she asked," 1 Kings x. 13. 
Samoan chiefs did not consider it mean or de- 
grading to ask freely from one and another whatever 
they fancied. They keep up the custom to some 
extent still, and hence the annoyance which a 
stranger feels from their begging habits. Their 
ideas of poverty and begging are utterly different 
from ours (see p. 264). 

9. Avenged. — " I pray . . . that I may be at once 
avenged of the Philistines," Judges xvi. 28. If a 
man dies a violent death, his last words will pro- 
bably be, " Avenge my death, avenge my death I" 

10. Baldness. — " Go up, thou bald-head," 2 
Kings ii. 23. Baldness is a reproach in Samoa, 


and is frequently named in epithets of abuse and 
ridicule. In some cases it was supposed to be a 
mark of displeasure from the gods (see p. 228). 

11. Bearers. — Of the cluster of the grapes of 
Eshcol it is said, " They bare it between two on a 
staff.' ' This is a common way of carrying a box or 
other package on a journey. It is slung on to the 
middle of a long pole, or bamboo, and the two walk 
along with it, the one following the other, and each 
with an end of the pole resting on his shoulder. 

12. Bed. — That referred to in Acts ix. 34, was, 
probably, as in Samoa, a mat of some description, 
which could be easily spread down on the floor, 
rolled up again, and carried anywhere. 

13. Beds. — " They shall rest in their beds," 
alluding to the grave. Isa. lvii. 2 ; Ezek. xxxii. 
25 ; 2 Chron. xvi. 14. In Samoa the bottom of 
the grave is spread with mats like a comfortable 

14. Belly. — "The Lord make thee a curse. . . 
when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy 
belly to swell," Num. v. 21. Ulcerous sores, dropsy, 
and inflammation of the abdomen were considered 
special judgments of the gods on concealed thieving, 
adultery, and other crimes ; and the effect of the 
curses invoked by the aggrieved parties. 

15. Bones. — " They shall bring out the bones 
. . . out of their graves/ 3 Jer. viii. 1. This was 
also done in Samoa, when an enraged army got a 
footing in the settlements of their enemy. 

16. "Bowels of compassion/ 5 Gen. xliii. 30; 


1 John iii. 17. The Samoans speak of the belly as 
the seat of fear and alarm. "My belly is startled," 
is a common expression. 

17. Bracelets, 2 Sam. i. 10. Bracelets and arm- 
lets are common thronghont the Pacific, and are 
worn by men and women. Shells strung on to a 
piece of cord, sections of cocoa-nut shell, and strips 
of tortoise-shell bent round, are the principal things 
used. Sometimes they are content with a single 
one, and sometimes you see half a dozen on an 
arm (see p. 81). 

18. Branches. — " Took branches of palm-trees, 
and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna, ,, 
John xii. 13. The attendants of a great chief, in 
passing along the road, carry one or two of the ti 
leaves (Draccma terminalis) raised in the right hand, 
and a herald runs a few paces before, calling out, as 
he meets any one, the name of the chief who is 

19. Brothers. — Nephews, nieces, and cousins are 

* I have been reminded in the South Seas of the olive 
branches, also, which ever since the days of Noah have been 
emblematical of peace. One day in 1848, when Captain Morgan, 
Mr. Nisbet, and I were backing out into deep water, to get 
clear of some shallow coral patches, and to look for a better 
passage for our boat, the natives on the shore, thinking we 
were afraid of them, ran and broke off brandies from the trees, 
and waved or held them erect in their raised hands. I after- 
wards learned that our conjecture at the time was right : it 
was a sign of peace and friendship. A party, for instance, who 
had been fighting, and wished to sue for peace, would approach 
the enemy with green boughs as the signal of their pacific and 
friendly intentions. 


all called brothers and sisters in Samoa, as in primi- 
tive times, Gen. xii. 5 ; xiv. 16; xxix. 15. 

20. Brought thee forth. — "Under the apple-tree," 
etc., Song of Sol. viii. 5. It may throw some light 
on this obscure passage, to notice the fact that, in 
some of the islands of the Pacific, the mother is 
taken to the bush, " there " to pass the hour of 
maternal solicitude. 

21. Buried. — " Buried in the garden of his own 
house," 2 Kings xxi. 18. A Samoan is anxious at 
death to be buried in his own particular land, and 
among the sepulchres of his own immediate rela- 
tives. Numerous efforts have been made to get 
the people to fix on a place in every village as a 
public burying-ground, but in most cases they have 
failed. The people prefer the old custom, that 
each should be "buried in the garden of his own 

22. Burn. — "We will burn thine house," Judges 
xii. 1. This is a punishment in Samoa for rebels, 
deserters in war, and other acts of provocation. 

23. Burning. — " They made a very great burn- 
ing for him," 2 Chron. xvi. 14. After the burial of 
a chief, there were fires kindled at sundown, near his 
grave, and kept burning all night (see p. 232). At 
Aneiteum, of the New Hebrides, they also kindled 
fires, saying that it was that the spirit of the departed 
might come and warm itself. 

24. "Buttocks uncovered," Isa. xx. 4. This 
was no disgrace in Samoa. It was the regular dandy 
costume of the young men, so as to show off the 


tatooing from the waist down to the knee, and to 
free them from incumbrance in battle. 

25. Cast away. — " Cast not away therefore your 
confidence," etc., Heb. x. 35. Thought by some to 
refer to the act of throwing away the spear or the 
shield when pursued; of old, a disgrace, and, in 
some countries, punished with death. At Tanna, in 
the New Hebrides, it is considered a great disgrace 
to throw back the club to a pursuer (see p. 44) . 

26. Circumcision. — Common throughout the Pa- 
cific (see pp. 87, 177, etc.). 

27. Clothing. — " Thou hast clothing, be thou our 
ruler," Isa. iii. 6. Riches in Samoa consisted 
principally in the possession of, or the ability to 
collect among friends, a large quantity of the fine 
mats, which were used as clothing on festive occa- 
sions (see p. 203). 

28. Coclz-cr owing. — John xiii. 38. The cock- 
crowing also regulates the time of night in Samoa. 
They speak of the "first cock-crowing," meaning by 
that a little after midnight. And then, again, they 
have " the cock-crowing," meaning by that the ap- 
proach of day. A cock which crows about eight or 
ten o'clock at night they call a foolish crower, and 
use the expression, in comparison, for a man who 
talks at random. 

29. Cover. — " Covered it with a cloth," 1 Sam. 
xix. 13. It is common in Samoa to cover the face 
when they lie down to sleep. I have often wondered 
how they can bear it, but they are accustomed to it 
from their infancy. The mothers cover their babies 


• all over with a cloth when they put them to sleep. 
They do it to keep off flies and other insects. 

30. Croivn. — "I took the crown that was upon 
his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm/' 
2 Sam. i. 10. A fillet, decorated with neatly-cut oval 
pieces of the nautilus- shell, and armlets of the same 
material are among the insignia of royalty in Samoa, 
and the usual decorations of chiefs when they go to 

31. Grown. — " Surely I would take it upon my 
shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me," Job xxxi. 
36 ; Ps. ciii. 4. When a Samoan receives a present 
he puts it up on the crown of his head, which is the 
strongest expression of his gratitude. He generally 
adds to the act a word or two of thanks. An orator 
also, in a public assembly, in returning thanks for a 
favour, puts his hand up over his head, and says, 
" There is your kind decree — there, there ! " 

32. Cry. — The death of the first-born caused " a 
great cry in Egypt," Exod. xii. 30. If one may 
judge of it from the death- wail in a single family in 
Samoa (see p. 227), it would indeed be "a great 
cry," for there was not a house in which there was 
not one dead. 

33. Cry. — " She went forth to cry unto the 
king," etc., 2 Kings viii. 3. In appeals for redress, 
or help in war, they use the same expression in 
Samoa, viz., tangi, a word equivalent to cry or weep. 

34. Cry. — " The Chaldeans, whose cry is in the 
ships," Isa. xliii. 14. A Samoan can hardly put his 
paddle in the water without striking up some chant 


in which all in the canoe, or boat, may unite, and* 
thus they paddle along, singing as they go (see p. 

35. " Curse ye Meroz, . . . because they came 
not to the help of the Lord," Judges v. 23. A party 
of Samoan chiefs would of old sit in solemn con- 
clave, and pray for curses to descend upon those who 
would not help in war. 

36. Curse. — " The eleven hundred shekels of 
silver that were taken from thee, about which thou 
cursedst," Judges xvii. 2. It was the same in 
Samoa. The party from whom anything had been 
stolen, if he knew not the thief, would seek satisfac- 
tion in sitting down and deliberately cursing him. 

37. Curse. — " The Philistine cursed David by his 
gods," 1 Sam. xvii. 43. The Samoans, both before 
and during the battle, implored the gods to curse 
the enemy. In one of their late wars, one party 
carried their old priest with them, shoulder high, 
over the mountains to the seat of hostilities, like 
another Balaam, to curse the enemy. This reminds 
us, also, of the way in which the Israelites of old 
carried the ark with them when they went to fight 
with the Philistines. It is painfully common also 
for parents to curse their children with imprecations 
such as, " Death to you ! May the gods eat you ! 
May your abdomen swell ! May you go to the hades 
of the common people ! May you sink into the sea, 
and the sun crush you down !" They thought the sun 
sank in the sea when it went down. " May you have 
my bad eyes when I die ! May my putrefaction run 


down upon you !" the meaning of which is, may the 
child die first, and afterwards the parent, and be laid 
on the top of it. These and a host of other revolting 
imprecations were, and, alas ! still are, too common. 

38. Out. — " Their clothes rent, and having cut 
themselves," Jer. xli. 5. Cuttings in the flesh, 
especially on the face and scalp, were common in 
Samoa, on occasions of wailing over the dead (see p. 
227). Among some curiosities from Manahiki, I 
have seen things which they call " beaters," resem- 
bling a small drum- stick, and having a shark's tooth 
inserted, and projecting, for the very purpose of beat- 
ing the forehead, and causing the blood to flow, on 
occasions of grief. 

39. Gut. — " Cut off their garments in the middle," 
2 Sam. x. 4. To cut anything belonging to a Samoan 
is one of the greatest insults that can be offered to 
him. If he sees the marks of a knife or a hatchet on 
his canoe, or bread-fruit tree, or even on a few taro 
plants, he considers that it is like cutting himself, 
and rages like a bear to find out who has done it. 
A whole settlement will rise and carry war into 
another place, to avenge the insult occasioned by 
malicious cuttings. If it is a blunt injury, from a 
stick, or stone, they do not mind it so much, but, 
to them, there is a terrible meaning in the marks of 
any sharp instrument. 

40. " Cut off thine hair, . . . and take up a 
lamentation," Jer. vii. 29. Cutting off the hair 
is a sign of mourning at Tanna and other parts of 
the Pacific. 


41. Damsel. — " To every man a damsel or two," 
Judges v. 30. So in Samoa, in dividing the spoil of 
a conquered people, the women were not killed, but 
taken as wives. 

42. Dancing. — David leaped and danced before 
the ark, when it was being conveyed from the house 
of Obededom to the city of David, 2 Sam. vi. 16. 
So does a Samoan chief sometimes head a joyous 
procession, and express his delight by leaping, 
dancing, joking, and all sorts of antics. In going 
to the first station where I laboured in Samoa, I was 
accompanied by a party of the people. All on a 
sudden, soon after we started, the chief of the party 
came flying in before me, gave two turns on his 
heel, darted forward two or three hundred yards, 
and there he leaped, and danced, and capered about, 
like one demented, until I came up, and off he went 
a-head again, to go through the same ceremony , 
He got tired of it, however, and all the sooner as 
he saw that I did not much enjoy his pranks. On 
another occasion, I saw a party of natives removing 
a great house, which they carried bodily on their 
shoulders. They went singing along, with their 
chief leaping and dancing a little a-head of them. 
He had two or three black streaks on his face, his 
body oiled, and decked off with a garland and neck- 
lace of sweet- smelling flowers. In things such as 
these I have often been reminded of David dancing 
before the ark. 

43. Dancing. — " He saw the calf, and the dan- 
cing," Exod. xxxii. 19. In Samoa the annual assem- 


blies for the worship of the gods were generally 
accompanied by dancing and other festivities. 

44. Daughter. — Given in marriage at the will of 
the father, Josh. xv. 16. It was common also in 
Samoa for the daughter to be at the absolute dis- 
posal of her father, or elder brother. She dreaded 
the curses of her father, if she refused to consent to 
his wishes. 

45. Dead.—" Nor given ought thereof for the 
dead," Deut. xxvi. 14. Referring, probably, to ido- 
latrous offerings of meat and drink to the dead. 
Such passages are easily understood by our Poly- 
nesian converts, as they were themselves in the 
habit of presenting meat and drink offerings to the 
deified spirits of their ancestors. 

46. Dead dog. — The language, in some cases, of 
humility ; in others, of abuse and scorn, 2 Sam. ix. 
8 ; xvi. 9. The Samoans speak precisely in the 
same way ; only they mention the pig oftener than 
the dog, in the humbling or abusive comparison, 
and instead of dead, prefer the more coarse and un- 
sightly adjective of stinking. 

47. Deluge.— (See p. 249). 

48. Depart. — " Depart from me ; for I am a 
sinful man, Lord," Luke v. 8. I recollect a 
sick man I went to visit using these words to 
me, as the language of humility. I thought it 
strange at first, until it was explained what he 

49. Departure. — " The time of my departure is 
at hand," 2 Tim. iv. 6. The Samoans use a word 



similar to departure, to express death. They also 
take up the figure of the ship, and say of a chief who 
has died, "He has sailed." 

50. "Disfigure their faces," Matt. vi. 16; 1 
Kings xx. 38. In mourning for the dead at Tanna, 
they blacken the face with oil and charcoal. In 
Samoa they disfigure themselves with cuttings and 

51. Divers colours. — " She had a garment of 
divers colours," 2 Sam. xiii. 18. The native cloth 
in Samoa, particularly that which is worn by young 
women of rank, is coloured after a fashion in spots, 
stripes, circles, triangles, and other figures, laid on 
with the thumb or some other rude substitute for a 
brush. Red, black, brown, white, and yellow are 
the prevailing colours. 

52. Dower y. — David objected to the proposal of 
being Saul's son-in-law, on the ground of poverty, 
1 Sam. xviii. 23. A Samoan would raise the same 
objection in the case of inequality in rank, owing to 
the difficulty he might have in getting up a dowery 
equal to that of the woman. The husband has to 
provide a dowery, as well as the wife, and the dowery 
of each must be pretty nearly of equal value (see 
p. 186). 

53. Down to the sect) Ps. cvii. 23. In speaking 
of the sea, the Samoans use the same strictly correct 
expression of going down to it. 

54. Dragons, Ps. lxxiv. 13. Referring, probably, 
to the Egyptian troops. Particular lands in Samoa, 
and especially their troops in war, are designated by 


names of animals. One is called the dog, another 
the Tongan hog, and so on. 

55. Dunghill. — " Let his honse be made a dung- 
hill," Ezra vi. 11. The Samoan word expressive of 
the laving waste, and desolation, occasioned by war, 
is faatafuna, which means also a dunghill. 

56. Dust. — " Threw dust into the air," Acts xxii. 
23. I once saw a woman in a terrible rage, sitting 
cross-legged in front of a house, yelling at the top of 
her voice, clawing the ground on either side, and 
sending the small stones and dust flying into the air 
behind her. 

57. Dust. — " The Lord God formed man of the 
dust of the ground," Gen. ii. 7. The people at 
Fakaafo, of the Tokelau group, say that the first 
woman was made of the loose earth or dust of the 
ground. The story runs thus : The first man, who 
had previously been a stone, thought one day he 
would make a woman. He collected the light earth 
on the surface of the ground, in the form of a human 
body, with head, arms, and legs. He then plucked 
out one of his left ribs, and thrust it into the breast 
of his earth model. Instantly the earth became 
alive, and up starts a woman. He called her Ivi 
(according to English orthography it would be 
Eevee), which is their word for rib. How like to 
our Eve ! 

58. Dwell. — " I dwell among mine own people," 
said \h& Shunamite, expressive of the comfortable 
independence of her circumstances. As long as a 
Samoan is with his own people, by the father or the 


mother's side, he has no feeling of poverty, or 
dependence ; bnt, if living away in another district, 
or among another people, he feels poor and a 

59. Ears. — " They shall take away thy nose and 
thine ears," Ezek. xxiii. 25 (see pp. 286, 336). It is 
common in marking the pigs, so as to distinguish 
those of one family from another, to cut off a bit of 
the ear. If the life of a captive taken in war was 
spared, some such mark of indignity would probably 
be put upon him, as cutting off a piece of his ear, 
which would brand him for life, not as a man, 
but as a pig, belonging to the chief who saved him. 

60. Earth. — In the mythological cosmogony of 
various parts of the Pacific there are accounts of 
parties who put in order the rough mass of mate- 
rials, separating the land from the water, giving the 
former variety in hill and dale, causing the trees to 
grow, etc., which compare with the first chapter of 
Genesis. At Savage Island, for example, tradition 
says their island was raised from the surface of the 
deep, and put in order by two men, who swam from 
Tonga. The sandy beach and more inviting part of 
one side of the island is traced to the greater in- 
dustry and superior skill of the man who undertook 
to put that side in order ; whereas the rugged, 
iron-bound coast on the other side is all laid down 
to the sluggish carelessness of the other man, to 
whom, in the division of labour, that side was 

61. " Eat in the morning," Eccl. x. 16. It is 


considered unmanly in Samoa to eat early in the 
morning. It is even the language of abuse to hint 
that a person does so. It is like comparing him to 
a pig, which is fed the first thing in the morning. 

62. Eat bread. — " Constrained him to eat bread," 
2 Kings iv. 8. In passing through a village, if 
recognized, a person may be called at four or five 
different houses to step in and have some food ; or, 
with the passing salutation, an apology may be made 
that they have not a morsel of good food ready. 

63. Eateth bread. — " He that eateth bread with 
me hath lifted up his heel against me," John xiii. 18. 
It is easy to show to a Samoan how this made the 
crime of Judas all the more aggravated. To eat 
bread with one, in Samoa, is the usual sign and 
mutual pledge of peace and friendship, 1 Kings 
xiii. 8. In illustration also of the offerings referred 
to inDeut. xiv. 26, and of eating " before the Lord," 
see Chap. XXIY. p. 241. 

64. Embalming. — "The physicians embalmed 
Israel," Gen. 1. 2. Embalming has been practised 
in one family of chiefs in Samoa (see p. 231). 

65. "Every man a beam," 2 Kings vi. 1, 2. 
This is exactly as house-building is done in Samoa; 
all the members of the family help ; every man, 
according to previous arrangement, goes after his 
stick or beam, for posts or rafters. 

66. Eyes. — " Thrust out all your right eyes, and 
lay it for a reproach upon all Israel," 1 Sam. xi. 2 ; 
Judges xvi. 21. This was of old a punishment for 
adultery and other crimes in Samoa. It was also 



done as a mark of indignity after killing a person. 
To be called the son, or remote descendant even, of 
one "whose eyes were scooped out," is one of the 
severest terms of reproach. 

67. Fasting. — " So do God to me . . . if I taste 
bread . . . till the sun be down," 2 Sam. hi. 35. 
In Samoan fastings, on occasion of mourning, the 
parties did not eat anything until after sundown 
(seep. 228). 

68. Feast. — " Samson made there a feast; for so 
used the young men to do," Judges xiv. 10. Mar- 
riage feasts in Samoa are provided by the bride- 
groom and his friends. It is the province of the 
bride and her friends to provide a dowery of fine 
mats and native cloth. 

69. " Fell every good tree, and stop all wells of 
water," 2 Kings hi. 19. These are just the works 
of destruction common in Samoan warfare. 

70. Fire. — " The fire shall ever be burning upon 
the altar; it shall never go out," Lev. vi. 13. It was 
one of the distinguishing marks of the chieftainship 
of one of the Samoan nobility, that his fire never 
went out. His attendants had a particular name 
from their special business of keeping his fire blazing 
all night long, while he was asleep. 

71. Fire-sign. — " Set up a sign of fire in Beth- 
haccerem," Jer. vi. 1. Fire-signs are used as a 
telegraph in some parts of the South Seas. A native 
at Tanna, in giving me the news one morning, said, 
" There will be a party over from the island of 
Aneiteum to day or to-morrow." "How do you 


know ?" M Because we saw a great bonfire rising 
there last night." 

The natives of heathen islands are also in the 
habit of kindling fires, as a smoke signal, to attract 
the notice of a vessel which may be off their shore. 
Sometimes, when we are wondering whether there 
are any natives among the dense bush which we see 
from the ship, up goes a column of smoke, and 
removes all doubt. 

72. First-fruits. — " The first of the first-fruits of 
thy land thou shaft bring into the house of the Lord 
thy God," Exod. xxiii, 19. The first-fruits are pre- 
sented to the gods at Tanna (see p. 88), and also in 
other parts of the Pacific. It was more common 
in Samoa to honour the village chief with them. 
Curses and calamities of various kinds were sup- 
posed to be the consequence to the family of any one 
who failed in observing the custom. 

73. Fish spears, Job xli. 7. Quite common in 
the Pacific ; two, three, and many-pronged, barbed 
and unbarbed, and chiefly made of wood. 

74. Flame. — " The angel of the Lord ascended 
in the flame of the altar," Judges xiii. 20. This re- 
minds us of the story of Tafaliu, to which we have 
already referred, as having gone up to the moon in a 
column of smoke from a great fire which he kindled 
(see p. 247). 

75. Flesh.—" Flesh with the life thereof . . . 
shall ye not eat," Gen. ix. 4. The Samoans like 
their meat underdone, and often eat their fish raw 
and quivering with life. I was once roused at mid- 


night by a poor fellow with a fish in his throat, which 
he conld neither get down nor up. He had been out 
fishing, and was quietly putting a little one into his 
mouth, as if it had been a bit of bread. It leaped 
beyond the reach of his teeth, and stuck fast. I 
tried the bougie, but without effect. I then sent him 
outside to take ten grains of "blue-stone." He had 
the fish before him in a minute or two, and was all 
right again. 

76. Foot. — " Keep thy foot when thou goest to 
the house of God," Eccl. v. 1. It is considered rude 
and disrespectful in Samoa to stretch out the foot in 
any formal assembly. All sit cross-legged. 

77. Friend*. — Job's friends visited him in his 
affliction " to mourn with him, and to comfort him," 
Job ii. 11. Visits on such occasions are very com- 
mon in Samoa, and the visiting party seem as if they 
could not go to the sick without taking a present. 

78. Gate. — " This gate shall be shut, it shall not 
be opened, and no man shall enter in by it ; because 
the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it," 
Ezek. xliii. 4 ; xliv. 2. So of old, in some parts of 
the Pacific, the door through which the king or queen 
passed in opening a temple was shut up, and ever 
after made sacred. 

79. Genealogies. — " Endless genealogies," 1 Tim. 
i. 4. The Jewish anxiety to preserve their genealo- 
gies could hardly have been greater than that of the 
Samoans. Calling in question a young man's pedi- 
gree, or speaking ill of his progenitors, is a fruitful 
source of quarrels. He will send far and near, and 


collect old people to prove the rank of his origin, and 
scold his calnmniators. 

80. Gift. — " A man's gift maketh room for him," 
Prov. xviii. 16. An inferior never approaches a 
superior, particularly to ask a favour, without a gift, 
Friends, also, rarely pay a visit without taking a 
present. The favoured party generally makes some 
return compensation. 

81. Grave. — Articles placed in the grave with the 
dead. (See p. 230, and compare it with Ezek.xxxii.27.) 

82. Green withs that were never dried," Judges 
xvi. 7. Tough tendrils from the bush, and long 
strips of bark without any twisting, are used in 
Samoa for scaffolding and other temporary fasten- 
ings, and occasionally for tying up a culprit. While 
they are green, and for a week or two afterwards, 
they are strong for any purpose, but they soon be- 
come dry and useless. 

83. Groves. — " Break their images, and cut down 
their groves," Exod. xxxiv. 13. As of old in Ca- 
naan, sacred groves for heathen worship, with and 
without temples, were quite common in the islands 
of the Pacific. 

84. Hair. — Absalom's long hair, as referred to in 
2 Sam. xiv. 26, was probably the same as may be 
seen among some gay young men of Samoa (see 
p. 205). A tuft of human hair dyed light brown is 
added to the top of their fancy head-dresses, or hel- 
mets, on gala days, and when reviewing the troops 
the day before battle. At Savage Island the young 
men let their hair grow long for utility more than 


ornament. They let it grow until it was twelve or 
eighteen inches long, and then cut it to make hair 
cord for fancy belts, and also for decorating their 
clubs and spears. 

85. The hands and feet of a culprit are bound, 
and in that state he is carried to parties seeking 
revenge on account of a crime which he has com- 
mitted, that they may kill him, or do what they 
please with him. This is done in Samoa. Com- 
pare it with David's lament over the death of 
Abner, 2 Sam. iii. 34. 

86. Handmaid, Gen. xxix. 24, 29. The wife of 
a chief was attended by a younger sister or other 
female relative, who occupied the place of a secondary 
wife or concubine. 

87. " Hanged himself." — So did the mortified 
Ahithophel, 2 Sam. xvii. 23 ; and so did Judas. 
The same custom is practised in the New Caledonia 
group. At Savage Island the suicide jumps over the 
rocks into the sea, and at Samoa he climbs a sixty- 
feet cocoa-nut tree, and throws himself down. 

88. Heads. — " Lay ye them in two heaps at the 
entering in of the gate," 2 Kings x. 8. The heads 
of the enemy slain in battle in Samoa were taken 
and laid in heaps before the chiefs, in the place of 
public assembly of the settlement or fort, wherever 
they might be collected (see p. 302). 

89. Heads. — " Reconcile himself unto his master 
. . . with the heads of these men," 1 Sam. xxix. 4. 
While at Tanna, it was reported to us by our people, 
after one of their battles, that an old ally, who had 


been fighting against them, had that day turned upon 
the enemy on whose side he was fighting, killed one 
of them, and then rushed to the side of our people. 
While war was going on in Samoa, also, I recollect 
hearing a young man, in a fit of passion, saying to 
one of his own party, that he was just watching his 
chance to take his head to the camp of the enemy. 

90. Hew. — " Hew ye down trees, and cast a 
mount against Jerusalem," Jer. vi. 6. So do the 
besieged and besiegers in Samoa. Contrary to 
Deut. xx. 19, they make sad havoc among the fruit- 
trees in a time of war. When they are tired cutting 
down the bread-fruit trees in a settlement which has 
fallen into their hands, they go about and notch the 
rest, destroying the bark in a circle all round the 
tree, which of course kills it. 

91. Hosanna. — " The multitudes that went be- 
fore, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna," etc., 
Matt. xxi. 9. This is exactly as a party of Samoans 
on a journey, accompanying an important chief, 
would strike up some chant as they approached a 
settlement, and proceed singing over and over again 
the same words, as they went along. 

92. Hospitality.—" Given to hospitality," 1 Tim. 
iii. 2 ; Gen. xviii. 1 — 8, and several other places, 
are all illustrated in the usual Samoan rites of 
hospitality (see p. 198). Animal food is seldom 
used by the people, except in entertainments for 

93. Kings and principal chiefs in Samoa, as of 
old (Gen. xiv.), had the sole control in war. They 


raised them, carried them on, and stopped them at 
their pleasure. 

94. " The Icing's wrath is as the roaring of a 
lion," Prov. xix. 12. So it is in Samoa. It was, 
and still is, to some extent, above all law, and the 
common people are afraid to whisper a word in 

95. Kneeled. — " There came one running, and 
kneeled to him," Mark x. 17. It is rude to stand 
before a chief in Samoa. In delivering a message, 
or in receiving orders, the party either sits or bends 
the body, leaning the palm of the hand on the knee. 
In passing through a room where a chief is sitting, 
it is disrespectful to walk erect ; the person must 
pass along with his body bent downwards. 

96. Lamp. — Spoken of David's son and succes- 
sor, 1 Kings xv. 4. In Samoa the son and successor 
of a chief is called his tord). 

97. Lapped. — " Lapped, putting their hand to 
their mouth," Judges vii. 6. A thirsty Samoan, in 
coming to a stream of water, stoops down, rests the 
palm of his left hand on his knee, and, with the right 
hand, throws the water up so quickly as to form a 
continued jet from the stream to his mouth, and there 
he la/ps until he is satisfied. 

98. " Lay aside every weight ," etc., Heb. xii. 1. 
So did a Samoan combatant in public games lay aside 
every clothing or other incumbrance. 

99. Legs. — " Ornaments of the legs," Isa. iii. 20. 
It is very common throughout the Pacific for gay 
young men to wear a string of fancy shells, or other 


ornaments, nnder the knee, which, if they wore 
stockings, might be called fancy garters. 

100. Linen. — "A linen cloth cast about his naked 
body," Mark xiv. 51, 52. This is all natural to a 
Samoan. He sleeps at night covered over with a 
single sheet of calico or native cloth, and were he to 
get up and go out to see what any strange noise 
he heard might mean, he would appear outside with 
the sheet gathered up, and " cast about his naked 

101. Liver. — "My liver is poured out," Lam. ii. 11. 
A Samoan, in speaking of one who is weak-hearted 
or cowardly, says, "He has no liver," which is just 
our colloquial joluch; and compares also with the 
Scripture reference to the liver. 

102. Make known. — " If ye will not make known 
unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, 
ye shall be cut in pieces," etc., Dan. ii. 5. There is 
a story told in Samoa of a tyrannical chief of old, 
who tied up the village priests, and condemned them 
to sit day after day in the sun till they died, because 
they could not tell him who stole his bread-fruits and 
bananas. They were saved, as the story goes, by a 
clever Daniel from the sacred craft of another dis- 
trict, who satisfied the chief that his bread-fruits had 
been stolen by the bats. 

103. "Mammon," Luke xvi. 13. Supposed by 
some to have been the name of a heathen god, wor- 
shipped at the outset of any trading expedition, that 
it might prove successful. Among some of the 
heathen tribes in the South Sea Islands at the pre- 


sent day, we find that they have their Mammon, or 
god of riches. When they see a vessel, for instance, 
off their shore, before launching their canoes to go 
out on a trading expedition, they consult the high- 
priest of the god, and implore that the proposed pro- 
ject may be prosperous, that they may be preserved 
from treachery and cruelty, and that they may return 
laden with cloth, knives, fish-hooks, and hatchets. 

104. Manslayer, cities of refuge for, see Num. 
xxxv. 6 ; p. 285. In Samoa the manslayer, or the 
deliberate murderer, flees to the house of the chief of 
the village, or to the house of the chief of another 
village to which he is related by the father or the 
mother's side. In nine cases out of ten he is per- 
fectly safe if he only remain there. In such instances 
the chief delights in the opportunity of showing his 
importance (see p. 281). In Samoa a chief's house 
is literally his fortification, except in times of open 
rebellion and actual war. 

105. Messages. — " A wench went and told them," 
2 Sam. xvii. 17. During war in Samoa, reported 
movements and messages of all kinds are conveyed 
from place to place by women. They are allowed to 
go freely from camp to camp, on real or pretended 
errands to their friends. 

106. Messes. — " He took and sent messes unto 
them from before him : but Benjamin's mess was five 
times so much as any of theirs," Glen, xliii. 34. In 
serving up a meal in Samoa it is all laid out on sepa- 
rate trays or messes, and taken by the male or female 
attendants and laid down, a tray to every two or 


three. It is a mark of respect for one who has 
something good on his tray to send it to another. 
At public meetings, also, chiefs send to their friends 
and favourites portions of choice food, which have 
been first set before themselves (see p. 289). 

107. "Mice that mar the land," 1 Sam. vi. 5. 
The Philistines supposed them to have been a judg- 
ment from the God of Israel for having taken away 
the ark. This was one of the judgments for which 
a Samoan prayed as the punishment of thieving, viz., 
mice, or small rats, to overrun the house of the thief, 
and eat his cinnet, fine mats, and cloth (see p. 295). 

108. Mourning. — "They mourned for Aaron 
thirty days," Num. xx. 29. On the death of persons 
of rank, there were weeks of mourning in Samoa (see 
p. 229). All public business was suspended, the 
highway through the village was made sacred, nor 
were any persons on business allowed to pass in 
their canoes in the lagoon off the settlement. After 
the ceremonies connected with receiving condoling 
visits from friends, near and remote, were over, then 
the roads were open again and " the days of mourn- 
ing were ended." 

109. "Naked . . . and were not ashamed," Gen. 
ii. 25. This is just as we have found the natives in 
some parts of Polynesia. Nay, covering the body 
was a reproach, as it was supposed to indicate some 
defect or ailment, which the party wished to 

110. Names are all single in Samoa, such as 
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and so on. Scripture names 


are extensively adopted. One is Adam, another 
Abel, No an, etc. They often change their names, 
too, from fancy or convenience. A man hears a 
sermon, about Barzillai, for instance, and determines 
to be called henceforth Barzillai. Another goes to 
live in a family where there is a person of his own 
name, Peter, it may be ; to save confusion, he drops 
the Peter and takes the name of Paul. 

111. Neclcs. — "Put your feet upon the necks of 
these kings," Josh. x. 24. There is a chief of high 
rank mentioned in Samoan tradition, as having 
ordered all his people, after a victory, to put their 
feet on the neclcs of the conquered. 

112. Necromancer, Deut. xviii. 11. Certain par- 
ties professed to have intercourse with the spirits of 
the departed ; and the diseased and the dying some- 
times prayed at the grave of a departed father, that 
he might send life and health. 

113. Night. — " He divided himself against them 
... by night, and smote them, ,, Gen. xiv. 15. Night 
attacks, and other modes of surprise, were common 
in Samoan warfare (see p. 303). Their wars were 
more affrays among an unorganized rabble than a 
regular fight. 

114. Nose. — " They shall take away thy nose and 
thine ears," Ezek. xxiii. 25. These would of old have 
been the very words of the threat for the punishment 
of adultery. They bit, or cut off, the nose, and lobe 
of the ear sometimes, in such cases. At the present 
day, the jealous, or the injured, occasionally keep up 
the remembrance of the old custom. I was called 



into a house one day to doctor the nose of a young 
dame who had just suffered from the incisors of 
another woman. I recollect also a case related by a 
neighbouring missionary, which occurred in his dis- 
trict. The husband and wife made up their minds 
to end their jealousies by a separation. When all 
was ready, the woman said to the man, "Well, now, 
let us just salute noses and part in peace." The 
simpleton yielded, but instead of the friendly touch 
and smell, the vixen fastened on to the poor fellow's 
gnomon, and disfigured him for life. 

115. Nose jewels, Isa. iii. 21. In some parts of 
the New Hebrides, the natives pierce the septum, 
and insert a small piece of reed horizontally, but not 
so as to project much, if at all, beyond the flattened 

116. Offerings, Num. vii. In Samoa, offerings 
of food on any public occasion are carefully counted 
by the receivers, and then proclaimed to the assem- 
bled multitude by a crier, who 
names the number of articles, and 
the party who has brought them, 
and then proceeds to divide them in 
portions that all may have a share. 

117. "Organ," Gen. iv. 21. 
Supposed to have been a mouth- 
organ, or what is commonly known 
as the Pandean pipe. This ancient 
instrument with seven or eight reed 
pipes, varying in length, is used at 
Tanna, and other parts of the New Hebrides. 



118. Phylacteries.— Some of the heathen priests 
in the New Caledonia group, when they pray to the 
gods, tie on to their foreheads, or to the arm, above 
the elbow, a small bag, containing hair and finger- 
nail relics of their forefathers, reminding us of the 
Jewish phylacteries. Such things are also worn by 
the people as a charm in going to battle. One of 

i 2 

these little bags, No. 2, contains two finger-nails 
an inch long, some smaller pieces, a leaf, a feather, 
a bit of coloured cotton rag, and a tuft of hair. 

119. Pillar. — " Him that overcometh will I make 
a pillar in the temple of my God," Rev. iii. 12. The 
temple of the great god of the Samoan hades was 
supposed to be supported by pillars of living men — 
men who on earth had been chiefs of the highest 

120. Pillows. — " He took of the stones of that 
place, and put them for his pillows," Gen. xxviii. 11. 
This is just as a travelling party would do in the 
bush in Samoa. A piece of thick bamboo, or a piece 


of hard polished wood, is the usual pillow of the 
healthy iu the South Seas (see p. 259). 

121. Plagued. — "The Lord plagued Pharaoh . . . 
because of Sarai, Abram's wife," Geu. xii. 17. In 
Samoa the diseases, of great men particularly, were 
supposed to be occasioned by some special cause ; 
hence the anxiety and running about among the 
priests to find out what it was. 

122. Pluck. — " The standing corn of thy neigh- 
bour . . . thou mayest pluck," Deut. xxiii. 25, 
Travelling parties are allowed to pluck cocoa-nuts 
anywhere as they go along the inland roads, or other 
uninhabited places. Parties also who are felling a 
tree, or doing any other work, are at liberty to help 
themselves to a fresh cocoa-nut from any tree in 
the neighbourhood. 

123. Portions. — " Days of feasting and joy, and 
of sending portions one to another," Esth. ix. 22. 
On festive occasions, it is very common in Samoa to 
send portions of food from one to another (see p. 289). 

124. "Pour out drink-offerings," Jer. vii. 18. 
So did the Samoans to the gods (see p. 239). 

125. Presents. — "Bread and summer-fruit for 
the young men to eat," 2 Sam. xvi. 2. The 
Samoans, in bringing even a large present of food, 
will not only make an apology that they have so 
little to offer, but politely add, that it is merely 
something for our servants. 

126. Raiment. — Presents of, 2 Chron. ix. 24. 
Garments and cloth of all kinds are common as pre- 
sents in Samoa. 


127. Bent. — " Jacob rent his clothes," Gen. 
xxxvii. 34. Rending the clothes is a common ex- 
pression of anger in Samoa. A man, or a woman, 
in a passion will not only pnll off the upper 
garment and tear it in shreds, bnt go up and down 
the house like a demon, smashing the water-bottles, 
tearing the native cloth, cutting up the canoe, and 
then perhaps end the scene by sitting down and 
having a fit of crying over the folly, wreck, and ruin 
of the whole affair. 

128. Respect — The use of the plural in the 
Hebrew Scriptures in the names of the Deity, has 
something analogous in Samoa in the use of the dual 
in addressing chiefs. In respectfully saluting one 
who has arrived from a distance, for example, they 
say, " Have you two come ? " or if going, they will 
say, "Are you tivo going ? " The first time I had 
this applied to me I was riding, and thought it 
must mean me and my horse, and did not feel at all 
complimented by the classification. I soon found 
out, however, that it was the regular dual of respect, 
and may be compared with the "plural of excel- 
lence," of the Hebrews, to which I have referred. 

129. Rib. — "And he took one of his ribs," etc., 
Gen. ii. 21. (See note on Dust.) 

130. Riddles. — " I will now put forth a riddle 
unto you," Judges xiv. 12. This is a common 
amusement in Samoa (see p. 215), and their non- 
solution is followed by a forfeit. 

131. Riseth. — "She riseth also while it is yet 
night," Prov. xxxi. 15. Early rising is the rule in 


Samoa. By the first streak of light, the people are 
up and about, improving the cool of the morning. 

132. Boasted. — "Whom the king of Babylon 
roasted in the fire," Jer. xxix. 22. To speak of 
roasting a Samoan is the worst language that can 
be spoken to him. Many of the Anna captives in 
the war of 1830 were thrown into a great fire kin- 
dled for the purpose (see p. 301). 

133. Rod. — " One rod shall be for the head of 
the house of their fathers," Num. xvii. 3. A rod or 
staff six feet long, such as is seen on the Egyptian 
monuments, is one of the common badges of office 
for the heads of families in Samoa, who are entitled 
to speak in a public parliament. Every one who 
stands up to speak, leans forward on his staff (see 
p. 288). Frequently, in referring to his speech, he 
calls it " this staff," and when about to end his 
address, will say, " I am now about to lay down this 

134. Bods. — " Strong rods for the sceptres of 
them that bare rule," Ezek. xix. 11. This also 
answers the description of the rods noted above. A 
strong, straight staff, without any ornament. In 
time of war a spear may be used instead, or the 
usual staff, with an old bayonet fastened to the end 
of it. 

135. Salute. — " Salute no man by the way," 
Luke x. 4. The usual salutation in Samoa is to say, 
" My love to you," which is responded to, and then to 
pass on by saying, " Sleep and life to you." That 
also is responded to with a similar compliment, 


and the addition of " Pass along." But in some 
cases, salutations are more tedious. If the parties 
are known to each other, food has to be offered, 
and the party passing along has to say where he is 
going, and perhaps to answer two or three questions 
more. If a piece of work is going on, the stranger 
cannot pass without staying awhile to lend a hand, 
especially if he sees a chief present. I was giving 
directions one morning to some of our young men, 
who were clearing a piece of bush near the public 
road, when up came a man, a perfect stranger. 
After saluting us, he was down immediately tearing 
away at the weeds with both hands. The young 
men thanked him for his offer of help, said he might 
pass on, and so, with a " good-bye " salutation, he 
went on his journey. 

136. Sat. — Referring to David's prayer, it is 
said that he went in and " sat before the Lord," 
2 Sam. vii. 18. Sitting, with the head bent forward 
and downwards, is the position of reverence and 
devotion in Samoa. Standing in the presence of a 
superior is rudeness and disrespect. We have not 
disturbed the custom, and in public devotions, in 
the house of God, all sit with the head bent down- 

137. See God. — " We shall surely die, because we 
have seen God," Judges xiii. 22 ; Exod. xxxiii. 20. 
Those who had the title of kings in Samoa were of 
old considered peculiarly sacred. They lived in a 
house isolated away from the rest, and kept up 
great dignity. To approach them was considered 


perilous, if unattended by certain purifications, the 
most common of which was, to sprinkle the person 
with clean water. The evils dreaded were, swelling 
of the body, death, etc. It was the opinion that 
some deadly influence radiated from the person of 
the king,, and that this mysterious current was 
broken by sprinkling. In approaching "his ma- 
jesty," on any political or other errand, the party, 
after sitting down, would call a servant to bring 
some water ; dipping his hand into the dish, he 
would then "sprinkle with clean water" his own 
person, and also the mat in the space between him 
and the king. This being done he would deliver his 

138. Shadow. — " Their defence " (or shadow) 
" is departed from them," Num. xiv. 9. A chief is 
called the shade or defence of his people, comparing 
him to the grateful shade of an umbrageous tree, 
under a vertical sun. (See also Ps. xci. 1.) 

139. Shame. — "Despising the shame," Heb. 
xii. 2. If any one had an ignominious end, it was 
brought up, to the shame of the members of his 
family, for generations afterwards. " You are the 
son of the man whose eyes were put out," this and 
similar reproachful expressions were sure to be 
brought up, whether true or false, in quarrels, when 
words run high, and are but a step from blows. 

140. Sheets. — " Thirty sheets and thirty change 
of garments," Judges xiv. 13. Sheets of native 
cloth or calico, and garments, are common articles 
of exchange and currency in Samoa. 


141. Shoulder. — "The cook took up the shoulder 
. . . and set it before Saul," 1 Sam. ix. 24; Lev. 
vii. 32, 33. Rank is indicated in Samoa by the par- 
ticular fish, or joint, to which a chief is considered 
to be entitled. There are frequent quarrels over a 
disputed right to the choice joints of meat. 

142. Shoutings. — All kinds of work in Samoa, 
in which a number are united, are carried on with 
chan tings and shoutings, especially if there is any 
rivalry as to which party will have their portion 
done first. (Zech. iv. 7.) 

143. Sick. — The friends of the sick in Samoa 
took presents, and consulted the heathen priests as 
to the cause, and probable issue of the sickness, just 
as of old parties went to Baal-zebub, the god of 
Ekron, 2 Kings i. 2. 

144. Side. — " Nursed at thy side," Isa. Ix. 4. 
This is illustrated in Samoa and other parts of the 
Pacific at the present day, by the custom of carrying 
children on the side, with the arm of the parent 
round the back (see p. 177). 

145. Sides of the pit. — " Whose graves are set 
in the sides of the pit," Ezek. xxxii. 23. In burial 
at Tanna the grave is dug and the body laid in a 
shelf hollowed out in the side of the pit (see p. 93). 

146. Signs. — " Be not dismayed at the signs of 
heaven ; for the heathen are dismayed at them," 
Jer. x. 2. Alluding, probably, to comets and 
eclipses. In Samoa these events were bad omens, 
and supposed to prognosticate the death of chiefs, 
war, famine, and pestilence. 


147. Sin. — "Who did sin, this man, or his 
parents, that he was born blind?" John ix. 2. So 
in Samoa, calamities are traced to sins of the 
individual or his parents, or some other near 

148. Singing. — " The women answered one ano- 
ther as they played, and said, 

" Saul hath slain his thousands, 
And David his tens of thousands." 

This is remarkably like Samoan songs. One divi- 
sion of the party will sing the first line, and the 
other replies in the second ; and thus they go on 
singing as they walk along the road, or paddle the 
canoe, or do the piece of work in which they are 
engaged (see pp. 269, 331). They often also make 
these songs the vehicle of sarcastic taunts, and in 
passing the house or village of parties with whom 
they are displeased, strike up a chant composed 
for the occasion by some rhymer among them, 
and embodying something offensive and vexatious. 
Their bitter, venomous songs lead even to war. 

149. Sister. — The sons of Jacob avenged the 
injury done to their sister, Gen. xxxiv. In Samoa 
brothers consider themselves specially bound to pro- 
tect their sisters and avenge their wrongs. 

150. Slay. — "We will eat nothing until we have 
slain Paul," Acts xxiii. 14. In this and other Scrip- 
ture references to clandestine murder, we are re- 
minded of what we have heard of certain parties in 
Samoa, whose known business it was to act as hired 


151. Sleej?. — " She made him sleep upon her 
knees," Judges xvi. 19. In Samoa it is common for 
the father or mother, or brother, sitting cross- 
legged, to receive and pillow the head of the sick, or 
the dying, on the calf of the leg between the knees. 

152. Sling ers, 2 Kings iii. 25. Slings were 
very common in Polynesian warfare before the intro- 
duction of fire-arms, and are still seen in the New 
Hebrides, where there are many who can "sling 
stones at an hair-breadth, and not miss," Judges 
xx. 16. 

153. Smell. — "Kissed him, and he smelled the 
smell of his raiment," Gen. xxvii. 27. Near rela- 
tives and warmly- attached friends, when they part, 
or on meeting after a long separation, salute each 
other by the juxtaposition of noses, accompanied, 
not by a rub but a hearty smell* They shake and smell 
the hands also, especially of a superior. A warm- 
hearted old man one day was not satisfied with a 
shake and a smell of my hand, but as soon as I sat 
down on the mat beside him, he got hold of my foot, 
and there he held on for awhile snuffing and smell- 
ing at my shoe, notwithstanding all my entreaties 
to the contrary ! 

154. Smooth stones. — " Among the smooth stones 
of the stream is thy portion," Isa. lvii. 6. It is 
thought by some that the reference here is to com- 
mon unchiseled stones used as idols. I have several 
"smooth stones of the stream" from the New 
Hebrides, which were used as idols, and have heard 
of precisely similar stones being used in other parts 


of the Pacific. But what do they do with the 
stones ? Very much like what the Earl of Roden 
says the people of Inniskea, off the coast of Mayo, 
do, or did, with their sacred stone. " A stone care- 
fully wrapped up in flannel is brought out at certain 
periods to be adored ; and when a storm arises, this 

god is supplicated to send a wreck on their coast." 
(See Kitto on the Prophets, p. 221.) Some of the 
Polynesian stone gods were supposed to cause pigs 
to multiply ; others were prayed to for the removal 
of storms ; and others were supposed to act as rain 
makers and rain stoppers. There was one of these 
rain-controlling stones in a district in Samoa. 
When there was too much rain, those who kept the 
stone put it to the fire to dry, and cause the rain to 
stop. If there was great drought, they took the 
stone to the water and dipped it, thinking that by 
wetting the stone, rain would be the consequence. 
155. Sneezing. — For the sake of those who are 


interested in the " antiquities of sneezing," I may 
here notice that it was common in Samoa to say 
to a person after he had sneezed, •" Life to you I" 

156. Son. — " Give, I pray thee . . . unto thy 
servants, and to thy son David," 1 Sam. xxv. 8. In 
asking a favour, a Samoan cannot use more per- 
suasive language than to call himself the son of the 
person addressed. " If you have any compassion," 
he will say imploringly, "look on the eyes of your 
own son." 

157. Speaker. — " They called Barnabas, Jupiter ; 
and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief 
speaker," Acts xiv. 12. The people of Lystra con- 
cluded that in Barnabas they had Jupiter, the great 
god of their city, and that Paul was Mercurius, his 
orator accompanying him. In Samoa, a chief in 
travelling is attended by his principal orator ; and 
if formal speeches are being made anywhere, the 
chief never speaks first, that is done by his " first 
cock-crower," viz., the chief orator. 

158. Spear. — Saul " having his spear in his 
hand," and encamped under a tree, 1 Sam. xxii. 6. 
An exact picture of a Samoan chief and his party 
in war. A spear rather than a staff is then the 

159. Spirit. — A Samoan felt terrified, and 
thought that speedy death would be the conse- 
quence, if he saw anything which he supposed to 
be a spirit, reminding us of Gideon's fear, which 
caused the Lord to say to him, " Fear not : thou 
shalt not die," Judges vi. 22, 23. 


160. Spirit. — " A man with an unclean spirit," 
Mark v. 2. Insanity in Samoa was supposed to be 
caused by an evil spirit. 

161. Spirit. — " The Spirit of the Lord spake by 
me," 2 Sam. xxiii. 2. The way in which the Samoan 
priests declared that the gods spoke by them, 
strikingly reminds us of the mode by which God 
of old made known his will to man by the Hebrew 

162. Spirits walking through desert places, 
Matt. xii. 43. In Samoa, spirits were supposed to 
roam the bush, and people in going far inland to 
work, would scatter food here and there as a peace- 
offering to them, and utter a word or two of prayer 
for protection. 

163. Spot or Mark, Deut. xxxii. 5 ; Rev. xx. 4. 
The Samoan men were all marked with the tatooing, 
which we have already described (see p. 181). Some 
had, in addition, the mark, or coat-of-arms, of the 
particular district to which they belonged, a dog it 
might be ; and, in the event of his being killed in 
battle, his body was the more easily identified. 

164. Spread. — " Spread their garments in the 
way," Matt. xxi. 8. In honour of the bride at 
Samoan marriages, they sometimes spread the way 
with fancy native cloth (see p. 187). 

165. Staff. — That obscure reference to the staff 
of Elisha, in 2 Kings iv. 29, has perhaps a ray or 
two of light from the fact, that in Samoa the son, or 
representatives of a political head, when sent on any 
important message to another district, takes with 


him his father's staff and fly-flapper, to show that 
his message is with the sanction and authority of 
the person to whom these belong. But a more 
marked illustration still, I fell in with lately in a 
visit to the New Hebrides. Among some stone 
idols, and other relics of heathenism, which I had 
handed to me, was an old smooth staff, made of 
iron- wood, a little longer and thicker than an ordi- 
nary walking-stick. It had been kept for ages in 
the family of one of the disease-making craft, was 
considered as the representative of the god, and was 
taken regularly by the priest when he was sent for 
to visit a case of sickness. The eyes of the poor 
patient brightened up at the sight of the stick. All 
that the priest did was merely to sit before the sick 
man, and leaning on this sacred staff, to speechify a 
little, and tell him there was no further fear, and 
that he might expect soon to recover. 

166. Stone. — " Slew . . . threescore and ten 
persons, upon one stone," Judges ix. 5. This re- 
minds us of what we have heard of the Feejeeans 
dashing out the brains of their victims on a particu- 
lar stone. 

167. " Stooped with his face to the earth," 
1 Sam. xxiv. 8. (See note on kneeled, p. 332.) 

168. Stripped. — " Jonathan stripped himself of 
the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David," 
1 Sam. xviii. 4. I have seen the men of a village, 
after laying down food to a party of visitors, as a 
further expression of friendship, strip themselves of 
their newly-made leaf girdles, and hand them to the 


strangers, who in return would pass them their old 
worn-out ones. A woman too, in parting with 
another, will strip off her upper garment or poncho 
(tiputa), and hand it to her friend, who will probably 
give her in return an older one. 

169. " Succour us out of the city," 2 Sam. 
xviii. 3. Commentators are not agreed as to what 
it means. A Samoan in like circumstances would 
persuade an aged chief, or a chief of high rank, not 
to go with them to the war, but to remain in the 
village and help them by his prayers. 

170. " Sun, stand thou still," Josh. x. 12. (See 
p. 248.) 

171. Sun. — "The sun shall not smite thee by 
day, nor the moon by night," Ps. cxxi. 6. The 
Sa moans do not like travelling in the sun. Many, 
I believe, die of "a sun-stroke;" but the principal 
thing which they trace to a sunning, is an attack of 
elephantiasis. Europeans, who are subject to the 
complaint, say that an attack is equally brought 
on by exposure to the sun and the night-air. The 
Samoans have no idea of any evil effects from moon- 
light, but they are careful to cover their faces when 
they sleep out of doors. 

172. Touched. — " Jesus put forth his hand, and 
touched him," Matt. viii. 3. It was thought of old, 
in Samoa, that there was great virtue in the touch, 
or even in a few passes of the hand, of a native 
doctor or heathen priest (see p. 107). 

173. Trumpets. — The trumpeters stood by the 
king, 2 Kings xi. 14. Shell trumpets are among 


the insignia of royalty in Samoa also. The canoe 
or boat of an important chief has one or two which 
are blown every now and then as it passes the 
villages ; so that the chief goes along from place to 
place with " the sonnd of a trumpet" (see p. 269). 

174. Uncircumcised. — "Who is this uncircum- 
cised Philistine ?" etc., 1 Sam. xvii. 26. This is the 
very language of reproach and scorn common to a 
Samoan at the present day, when he quarrels with 
a European ; only, instead of Philistine, he says 
white felloiv. 

175. Visited. — " Samson visited his wife with a 
kid," Judges xv. 1. A young man after a quarrel 
with, and separation from, his wife, cannot go back 
to make up matters with her and her friends, with- 
out a present of a pig, or some foreign property, or 
probably both. If the present is received, it is a 
token for good ; if not, he is rejected. 

176. " Voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars," 
Ps. xxix. 5. Referring, no doubt, to a thunder storm. 
When trees are split in Samoa by the electric fluid, 
it is the popular belief that it is done by the thtmder, 
and they speak of the thunder as doing so-and-so 
(see p. 296). 

177. Vows. "Jacob vowed avow," Gen. xxviii. 
20 ; Lev. xxvii. 2 ; Judges xi. 30. Yows are very 
common in Samoa. Horses, canoes, land, etc., were 
promised to the gods or their high-priests, on con- 
dition of recovery from sickness, etc. The same 
sort of thing is carried on still to a great extent. 
If a child is sick, his ungodly father may vow 


amendment and attention to the Word of God on 
condition that the son recovers. In some cases the 
conditional amendment ends in real conversion, but 
in most instances, perhaps, the party soon returns 
like " the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in 
the mire." 

178. Walk naked, Rev. xvi. 15. It was of old 
a punishment in Samoa to tie the hands of the 
culprit behind his back, and march him to his 
shame through the settlement in a state of nudity. 

179. War, 2 Chron. xiii. 4, etc. War parties 
sometimes harangued each other before battle (see 
p. 303). 

180. Water.—" Living waters," Jer. ii. 13. The 
Samoans speak of a brook being dead when it ceases 
to flow. 

181. Water. — " Poured water on the hands of 
Elijah," 2 Kings hi. 11. A bowl of water is gene- 
rally brought in to wash the hands after a meal, but 
often the attendant pours water on the hands from 
the cocoa-nut shell water-bottles. 

182. " Water of life;' Eev. xxii. 17. Some of 
the South Sea Islanders have a tradition of a river 
in their imaginary world of spirits, called the 
" water of life." It was supposed that if the aged, 
when they died, went and bathed there, they became 
young, and returned to earth to live another life 
over again. 

183. Wife. — It is a great insult to the friends 
of a deceased chief for a person to take to wife one 
who has lived with that chief as a wife or concubine. 

A A 


He runs the risk of being killed for it. This com- 
pares with 2 Sam. iii. 7, and other passages. 

184. Wife.— "The wife of the dead shall not 
marry without unto a stranger," Deut. xxv. 5. 
This was also ancient Samoan law, she was taken 
to wife by the brother of her deceased husband. 

185. " Wool and flax." — " She seeketh wool and 
flax, and worketh willingly with her hands," Prov. 
xxxi. 13. It is the business of the Samoan woman 
to raise and prepare the raw material, and work it 
into native cloth (see p. 203). She has also to plait 
the mats, to keep the house tidy, and to see that the 
lawn in front and by the sides of the house is clean 
and free from weeds. The Samoan women are 
industrious, and the higher the rank, the more 
skilled they are in the manufacture of the finer and 
fancy kind of native cloth and mats. Even the aged 
and blind are active. If they are not busy with 
something in-doors, they are out by the sides of the 
house feeling about for the weeds. 

186. Worm. — " Man, that is a worm ; and the 
son of man, which is a worm," Job xxv. 6. The 
Samoans trace the origin of man to worms (see p. 
245). Unlike our origin, but how like our earthly 
end ! 

187. " Wound him up, and carried him out, and 
buried him," Acts v. 6. Dead bodies in Samoa are 
usually prepared for the grave by winding them up 
in some folds of native cloth without any coffin. At 
Eromanga the natives make a few plaited cocoa-nut 
leaves suffice. 


188. " Young maidens going out to draw water," 
1 Sam. ix. 11. This may be seen every day in 
Samoa, especially towards evening. It is the pro- 
vince of the women to see that the water-bottles 
are kept clean and filled. 

189. Young men. — " Let the young men now 
arise and play before us," 2 Sam. ii. 14. Let the 
young men meet at the boundary, and have a 
wrestling match, is a polite way of Samoan chiefs 
speaking to each other when threatening war or 
giving a challenge. 

I find among my notes a number of other refer- 
ences, but they require further investigation before 
giving them with confidence. The subject is far 
from being exhausted. A missionary is always 
making some new discovery in the language and 
customs of the people among whom he labours, and 
hardly a week passed, before I left the islands, with- 
out finding something worthy of notice, illustrative 
of sacred history, and tracing the origin of the 
people to the ancient lands of the Bible. If spared 
to return to the South Seas, I hope to add still 
further to this contribution of Polynesian illustra- 
tions, which I have no doubt will be valued by all 
who are interested in Biblical and ethnological 




When the gospel has been received by a heathen 
people, the missionary finds that he has two things 
to do, viz., consolidation and extension. These two 
things have been kept steadily in view by the mis- 
sion with which I have been connected, and it has 
been my happiness to share with my esteemed bre- 
thren in the plodding labours of the one, and in the 
perils of the other. Some of the preceding chapters 
have shown what part I have taken in the consoli- 
dation of the cause of God in Samoa, and now I 
proceed to give some account of my missionary 
voyages for the introduction of the gospel into the 
regions beyond. 

After the brig " Camden," by which much good 
service was done in visiting old stations, and in ex- 
ploring 'new ground, we were favoured with that 
princely offering of the children of England to the 
cause of missions, "the barque " John Williams.' ' 
She reached Samoa early in 1845, and on the 2nd of 
April Mr. Murray and I went on board, and pro- 
ceeded in her on her first voyage to the heathen 
islands of the New Hebrides and New Caledonia 
groups. On our return I wrote an account of the 
voyage, which appeared in our " Samoan Reporter," 


of which the following is the substance, and given as 
I noted the various incidents in my journal at the 
time : — 

At Sea, on Board the "John Williams" &th April, 
1845. — After a valedictory service, at which we were 
addressed by our brethren Heath and Mills, we left 
Apia on the second, having on board fifteen Samoan 
and Rarotongan teachers, ten of whom are accom- 
panied by their wives. Mrs. Murray and Mrs. 
Turner have also come with us for the benefit of their 
health. Called at Mr. Pratt's station in Savaii, on 
the 3rd. All well, and the people so kind as to 
supply us with three boat-loads of pigs, yams, and 
cocoa-nuts, and also a large quantity of native cloth, 
to help in supplies for teachers, and presents to 
native chiefs among the heathen islands. 

Off Botumah, Monday Evening, 7th April. — Have 
had a fine run. All well. On Saturday evening 
had a prayer meeting, and yesterday had our religious 
services, morning, afternoon, and night. It is de- 
lightful to be in such a vessel. Captain, mate, car- 
penter, and two seamen pious, and all the rest in^. 
regular attendance at family worship morning and 
evening. It is a heaven upon the sea compared 
with many a ship. We are near Rotumah, and have 
"laid-to" for the night. 


At Sea, Wednesday, 9th. — Anchored yesterday 
morning at Rotumah, on the north-east side of the 


island, at the same place where we were last voyage 
in the " Camden," in June, 1842. Found our three 
teachers well, and kindly treated, but not making 
much progress. Have been of late hindered by war. 
In January last the rival chiefs Marof and Eimkau 
fought. Marof and twenty- seven of his men fell ; 
Eimkau lost two of his sons and thirty men. At 
the close of the fight some New Zealanders who live 
on the island proposed to cook a few of the bodies 
of the slain, but the Rotumans stoutly opposed the 
disgusting project, and said to the New Zealand 
cannibals, "You may do that at New Zealand — 
never at Rotumah." Poor Marof! I remember him 
well. A fine-looking man, in the prime of life, and 
a warm friend of the teachers. His younger brother 
Fakrongfon takes his place. He is preparing for 
another fight. We talked in favour of peace, but he 
thinks war inevitable. Found it hard to reply to his 
question, in broken English, " Somebody come to kill 
me, what me do ? ' ' 

According to arrangements made by our Directors 
and the Directors of the Wesleyan Missionary So- 
ciety, to prevent unnecessary collision and waste of 
missionary strength, we have withdrawn our teachers, 
and passed over all interest and influence at this 
island to our Wesleyan friends. We first conversed 
on the subject with the Wesleyan teachers here from 
Tonga and our own teachers, and then went in a body 
to a house where we met Fakrongfon and other 
chiefs and people, and told them what we were about 
to do. We told them the Tongans would instruct 


them in the way of salvation as our teachers had 
done, begged all to join them, listen to them, and 
obey the Word of God which they preached. We 
said also that we were going to the Tonga group, 
and that we should entreat our brethren there to 
send a white missionary to Rotumah as soon as pos- 
sible. We concluded our arrangements with prayer, 
and all passed off well. 

This island is partly prepared for European mis- 
sionaries. At least half of the people unite in entreat- 
ing us to send them one or two. The natives have 
long had intercourse with whaling vessels, have at 
times had as many as forty or fifty runaway sailors 
living among them, and know the English language 
surprisingly well. Hence they are proud, and think 
themselves above being taught by Tongans or Sa- 
moans. Nothing will satisfy them but a white mis- 
sionary, and a fine field of labour this would be for 
two devoted men. 

Saw a party of some twenty people, men, women, 
and children, who were picked up lately at sea, all 
but dead, by a whaling vessel. They had been fishing 
off their own island, and blown away in a sudden 
gale. They clung to us, and looked up most im- 
ploringly, anxious that we should take them home to 
their own land. Cannot tell exactly, but suppose, 
from their physical aspect and dialect, that they 
belong to some island of the King's Mill group ; 
another illustration of the way in which these islands 
have been populated : — Had this party reached an 
uninhabited island, they would probably have settled 


down, claimed it as their own, and have given it the 
name of the island or district they left. Here they 
will probably amalgamate with the already mixed 
Rotumans, and hence, too, we see how the dialects 
get mixed up. 

Rotumah is a lovely island, about the size of 
Raro tonga, and has probably a population of five 
thousand people. The formation is volcanic, and the 
productions such as are common to Central Poly- 
nesia. Their traditions trace their origin to Samoa. 
They say that on a fine day the god Raho and his 
wife Iva came here walking on the sea from Samoa. 
Raho had a basket of earth, which he commenced 
scattering about when he reached this, and all at 
once up sprung the land, and here they remained. 
Four places are sacred to the worship of the gods, 
and once every three months all assemble. Their 
"god is their belly." When they meet they first 
sing to the praise of the bread-fruit tree, cocoa-nut, 
yam, taro, banana, and everything eatable ; then feast; 
and then dismiss. All is over in a day. Circum- 
cision practised about the fifth year. When the body 
dies the spirit is supposed to enter some one of the 
family or of the village community. Marof, they 
say, now talks through a man called Yalea. Not- 
withstanding all their intercourse with white men, 
the Rotumans are deplorably ignorant of God. Put 
questions to several about God, Jesus Christ, etc., 
but could get no intelligible reply. One man who 
spoke English well, and who has been at sea three 
voyages, after thinking a minute, said : " God — 


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2 //// dotted, curved. Lines then tin direct distances /ran London 

3 '///' ordinary Degirtt ofLatUuJLe and LonaUudt arcgwin >/< tki marptn/. 


God — Yes. I know God ; He very good man J 9 
Poor fellow ! We tried to enlighten his darkness. 
As we were leaving the beach, overheard our good 
captain talking in his simple, pointed way to one of 
the white men living on shore : " No Bible ! what a 
thing that is ! Why, that is just like a man at sea 
without a chart. How do you think you could get 
along at sea without a chart ?" 


Ihth April. — Sighted Futuna this morning. It 
rises up out of the sea like a great square table, 
3000 feet high, and may contain a population of 800. 
By nine o'clock were close in off the bold shore, 
where we expected to find our teachers, Apela and 
Samuela. Heavy sea and a strong wind. Lay to, 
lowered the boat, and sent in her Faleese (a Samoan 
who lived on the island for a time a few years ago) 
to meet some canoes which were coming off. In one 
canoe was the chief Kotiama. He recognized Fa- 
leese, said the teachers were well, but away in the 
distance working in their plantation. The boat re- 
turned to the ship, and Kotiama said he would go 
and tell the teachers, and hasten them off to us in a 
canoe. Waited an hour, and sent in the boat again. 
No appearance of the teachers. Natives now said 
that, owing to a fatal epidemic, for which the 
teachers had been blamed, they were driven off to 
another settlement, but that messengers had gone 
for them. Waited another hour, and now four of 


our Samoans volunteered to go on shore, and find 
their way to the place where the teachers were said 
to be. Manned the boat again, and let them go 
under the care of Captain Morgan, but with strict 
charges not to set a foot on shore, unless the captain 
got a chief or two from the shore to come off with 
him to the ship. The boat was soon back, but no 
teachers. The captain got a chief in the boat 
to come off to the ship, but whenever he understood 
that the Samoans were going to land to see after 
Apela and Samuela, he jumped out of the boat, and 
swam off to the shore. The Samoans, of course, did 
not land, but hastened out to us with this dismal 
tale. Our worst fears were now roused. Ran below 
for my cap and Macintosh, and in five minutes Mr. 
Murray and I were over the ship's side, into the 
boat, and off through the heavy sea to the shore, 
with Faleese as our interpreter, to see how the na- 
tives looked, and whether anything more could be 
done. As we pulled in we saw that every canoe was 
hauled up, natives armed, and hiding behind the 
trees and rocks, and no women or children to be 
seen. All looked bad and hostile. Held on, and 
shouted, "Why are you afraid of us? Nothing 
here to hurt you. We want our teachers, Apela 
and Samuela." Up starts a fellow from behind a 
block of coral, and replied, " They are far away. 
Take round your vessel to the other side ; they are 
there." "Where is the chief Kotiama ?" we again 
shouted. " He told us he was going for them." 
"He is dead," was the reply, twice over, " he is 


dead." "Dead ! how can that be ? He was there 
only a little ago." But just as we were saying this to 
each other, we saw a movement among them, rising 
up, changing positions, etc., and, as we were within 
reach of their arrows and slings, we backed out. 
In the hurry, ran on to a rock just below the sur- 
face, but the men jumped out, pushed off, and we 
were clear. Pulled out a bit, and then held on, 
loath to give it up, but we could do no more. 
Night was coming on, a strong wind, and the sea 
running high outside, and so, with heavy hearts, 
we pulled out again to the vessel. Got safely on 
board, and as we feel all but certain that our poor 
teachers have been killed, we are now standing 
direct for Aneiteum. Hope our teachers there are 
alive, and that we may soon get relief from our 
present painful suspense respecting poor Apela and 

16th April, at Anchor off Aname, north-east side 
of Aneiteum. — Bad weather, and with difficulty got 
in to this sheltered little roadstead this afternoon. 
In the morning we were cheered by the sight of a 
white plastered cottage, evidently a teacher's house 
or chapel. What a contrast to everything we saw 
yesterday ! By and by we had a canoe alongside, 
and there was our teacher Simeone. We were 
breathless to hear about our Futuna teachers. 
" All dead, killed by the Futuna people upwards of 
two years ago." Poor fellows ! we were afraid 
yesterday that this was to be recorded. It seems 
that an epidemic was cutting off the people ; they 


blamed the teachers and the new religion for it, and 
determined to kill them. On the morning of the 
day fixed for their massacre, a party surrounded 
Samuela, who was unsuspectingly at work in his 
plantation. He started up when he saw them, and 
stood with the hatchet in his hand with which he 
had been working. Spears flew in upon him from 
all sides, and he fell speared in both legs and in the 
chest. Apela and a girl, the daughter of Samuela, 
were caught on the road, on the way home from the 
plantation, and also killed. The party then went to 
the house, where the wife of Samuela was, quite un- 
conscious of the horrid work which had been going 
on. An offer was made to her to become the wife of 
the chief who headed the gang ; but no, she would 
die rather. She handed out an axe and some other 
things, to appease the leader of this savage rabble, 
and a few pleaded for her life, but the multitude 
cried out for her death, and with his own hands he 
beat her brains out. They cooked the bodies of 
Samuela and his wife, and sank in the sea the 
bodies of Apela and the girl. After dividing out 
their property, they wound up the tragic scenes by 
burning the house. Father, forgive them ; for they 
know not what they do ! I was acquainted with 
Apela. He was a humble, harmless, kind little man. 
Samuela and his wife were of good report also. It 
cheered us to hear that, at the last, they died as 
they lived, inoffensive and peaceful, like Stephen of 
old, and did not lift a hand to injure their deluded 
murderers. When some of the Futuna people were 


at Aneiteum, a few months ago, they had not re- 
pented of their fonl deed, but were rather persuad- 
ing the Aneiteum people to kill the teachers Simeone 
and Apolo, as the best means of getting rid of 
disease. Poor people ! I fear we shall have to 
leave them to their heathenism for a time. 


There has been a breach in the mission party 
here by the death of Tavita and his wife. The one 
died of dropsy, and the other of consumption. 
Their end was peace. On the death of these two, 
the natives wished their bodies thrown into the sea, 
according to custom. Apolo and Simeone would not 
consent. They had bought the plot of ground close 
by their house, and insisted on the right to bury in, 
or do what they pleased with their own land. The 
point was yielded, and since that time the teachers 
have succeeded in persuading some of the people to 
bury their dead rather than "cast them away," as 
Apolo says, " to the savage fish of the sea." Up to 
this date five have been buried. When they cast a 
dead body into the sea, if it is the body of a man, 
they do not wrap it up in anything, but paint the 
face red, and sink it not far from the shore by tying 
stones to the feet. If it is the body of a woman, 
they wrap it up in the leaf girdles worn by the 

The lives of Simeone and Apolo have been re- 
peatedly in jeopardy. Only two months ago, when 


a chief of the place where they reside died, it was 
proposed to kill them for the "weeping feast," 
which follows the death of any one. It is the 
cnstom on these occasions to slaughter any strangers 
who are living on the premises, or in the neighbour- 
hood. "Go to our plantations, and take anything 
you like for your feast," said the teachers. This 
satisfied them. They delight in the custom, for the 
more they kill, the more taro, yams, and bananas 
they get. With the body of the poor victim his 
plantation goes as well to help in the feast. 

Simeone and Apolo report that the attendance on 
Sabbath-days is very irregular. Sometimes twenty 
or thirty, and at other times two and three. With 
the exception of one man called Umra, the people all 
keep to their heathenism, and are more inclined to go 
to their plantation on a Sabbath than to listen to a 
sermon. When the grown-up people found that the 
children were getting wiser than themselves, they 
ordered the teachers to give up the day-school. 
Driven from the day they tried the night, and at 
present there are eleven true sons of JSTicodemus, 
who go privately to the teachers' house at night for 

17 th April. — Hearing that some white men had 
taken up their abode on a small sandbank on the 
other side of the island, and also that a chief there 
has long been wishing to have a teacher, we deter- 
mined to visit both parties. Taking Simeone with 
us as our pilot and interpreter, we left the ship this 
morning at daylight. For a time we kept inside the 


reef, and then had to strike out to sea, and along the 
bold shore. It is a lovely island ; fertile, cultivated 
towards the sea, and well watered. Here and there 
we saw in the distance a silvery waterfall among the 
mountain gorges. By nine we were at the little 
island, quite a sandbank, and, with another one, 
forming a pretty good harbour between them and 
the mainland. The position of this harbour is 
20° 15' south latitude, and 169° 44' east longitude. 
Here we found a jetty, flag-staff, weather-boarded 
houses, piles of sandal-wood, a rusty swivel mounted 
here and there, and every appearance of a foreign 
settlement. A Mr. Murphy came down as we 
landed, and conducted us to the store, where we 
sat for a little. He said that Captain Paddon, who 
was at the head of the concern, was absent; that 
they came here in January ; that they have two ves- 
sels collecting sandal-wood ; and that they have 
advertised the place in the colonial papers as a con- 
venient harbour for whaling and other vessels. He 
says they have bought the island from the natives. 
Our teachers confirm this, and add that they paid for 
it an axe, a rug, and a string of beads. It is little 
more than a mile in circumference, without a cocoa- 
nut, and hardly a blade of grass. It was considered 
by the natives a haunted spot, and hence they never 
planted anything on it. They had no objections, how- 
ever, to sell it to the white men. At present there 
is only one white man there, in addition to Mr. Mur- 
phy, and five Chinese. "We saw the Chinamen at 
work sawing wood. Spoke a word or two to them. 


They are from Macao, and are not unlike some of 
our Eastern Polynesians. From Mr. M. we got 
some information respecting the adjacent islands, 
and an account of an attack on their vessel, the 
« Brigand," by the Mare people, in which a party 
who had gone on shore were all cut off, with the ex- 
ception of three, who were saved by our teachers. 
But I reserve a record of that until we get to Mare. 
Mr. Murphy offered to receive our teachers for a 
time in their fort on the little island, in the event of 
our being unable to locate them safely on the main- 
land. We thanked him, but said we did not antici- 
pate any difficulty. 

Taking our leave of Mr. M. and his romantic 
little settlement, we got up our sail, and crossed the 
bay to the mainland. Not a house to be seen ; but 
after landing and going into the bush, we came upon 
some huts, which were said to be the headquarters 
of the chief Nohuat. He was not at hand, but a 
message was sent for him. Not knowing but that 
the people may have had some recent fight with 
white men, and be just watching their chance for 
revenge, as at Dillon's Bay in 1839, we did not ven- 
ture far inland, but returned to the beach. Sat 
down under a tree, had a bit of beef and biscuit, and 
soon were surrounded by a number of boys, glad to 
share in our luncheon. Presently Nohuat came — a 
little, middle-aged man, in scanty Tannese costume, 
hair twisted in a multitude of cords, etc., and a dark 
Jewish countenance. Simeone was our interpreter 
at first, but, hearing that Nohuat had lived at Tanna, 


I took speech in hand in Tannese. He wondered 
however I conld speak that dialect, shook his arms, 
and cracked his fingers in amazement, as if I had 
dropped from the clouds. I had to tell him all about 
it, and then went on to say that Mr. Murray and I 
had come to locate, on his division of the island, two 
teachers, who would instruct him and his people in 
the knowledge of the true God and Jesus Christ, the 
way to heaven. He opened his mind to us all at 
once, said sad things about the doings of white men 
on their shores, which led us to assure him that we 
had an entirely different object in view from that of 
the sandal- wooders. His confidence was complete. 
He rejoiced in the offer of teachers, acceded to our 
proposal that he should go with us to the vessel, 
where we could select his teachers, and commit them 
to his care, and in a few minutes we were all in our 
boat, with the addition of Nohuat, outside the reef, 
and sailing back to our vessel. Chatted with Nohuat 
the most of the way. Says he is a disease-maker, 
and the dread of the place where he is chief. Tried 
to tell him of immortality, heaven and hell, sin and 
salvation. He listened as if for the first time, ex- 
pressed his amazement, but soon tried to change the 
subject, with " "What a fine boat this is ! How she 
flies I" Yerily, the carnal mind is enmity against 

Reached the ship by three p.m. Arranged at once 
for the location of the Samoan teachers, Simeone 
and Poti, in the district of Nohuat. Gave him a 
present, begged him to be kind to the teachers, and 

R R 


listen to their instructions. He replied, promised a 
number of things, such as a plot of ground, help 
in house-building, protection against thieves, and a 
supply of food. Umra sat listening attentively to 
Nohuat, and when he had done, got up and said, 
" ISTohuat, all that is very well ; but you have for- 
gotten one thing, you must attend to the Word of 
God." This well-timed hint from his own country- 
man pleased us exceedingly. Arranged also to 
leave another teacher with Apolo, at the station in- 
land of where we are anchored. The chief, lata, 
has of late been unkind to the teachers, and jeering 
them as castaways. We have rendered good for 
evil, have given him a present, and have had his 
acknowledgment of shame and regret, and promises 
of amendment. 

18/// April. — Mrs. Murray and Mrs. Turner ac- 
companied ns on shore to-day — the first European 
ladies, I suppose, who have ever set a foot on 
Aneiteum. The teachers' house is wattled and 
plastered, and its middle room serves at present for 
the chapel. The burning of the coral-stones, and 
the wonders of lime, plaster, and whitewash, made 
the natives declare the teachers to be gods, not men. 
The island is volcanic, and rises 2700 feet above the 
level of the sea. It is wooded with pine (Darnmcvra 
austral!*), and other useful trees. Bread-fruits, 
cocoa-nuts, yams, taro, bananas, and sugar-cane are 
the principal things cultivated by the natives. Saw 
nothing like a decent village. Two or three huts 
are put up in a plantation, and when the food is 


consumed there, another spot is selected, and there 
they plant and build again ; and thus they migrate 
from place to place within a certain division of the 
island. Mr. Murray and I were stooping down to 
step into one of their four-feet-high oblong hovels, 
when half a dozen voices called out for us to stop. 
We understood them to say that there was a pig 
there, being fed for an approaching feast, and that 
it was death for a stranger to go near his hogskijp 
under such circumstances. 

The Aneiteum people resemble the Tannese, their 
dialect, however, although of the same Papuan 
class, is very different. At present, the tribes all 
over the island are on friendly terms. They seldom 
fight. In a case of murder, an apology, with a pig, 
will generally settle the affair. Circumcision is 
practised about the fifth year. The ceremony is 
attended with feasting. Polygamy prevails. They 
worship the spirits of their ancestors, and princi- 
pally on occasions of sickness. Have sacred groves, 
where they leave offerings of food to rot. They 
suppose that the spirit at death leaves the body, 
goes to the west end of the island, plunges into the 
sea, and swims away to a place of spirits called 
Umatmas, where, it is said, there are two divisions, 
one for the good and another for the bad. Plenty of 
good food constitutes their heaven, and the contrary 
their hell, for the abode of the thief, the liar, or the 

The most melancholy thing connected with 
the heathenism of Aneiteum is the strangling of 


the widows.* Our teachers strongly oppose the 
sad custom, and risk their lives sometimes in en- 
deavouring to prevent it. Lately they went to a 
scene where all was ready for strangling. They 
remonstrated. The woman became afraid, and ran 
to the teachers for protection ; but they were over- 
powered by the enraged people, and obliged to 
flee for their lives. The woman, however, was 

Monday, 21st April, still at Anchor off Aneiteum. 
— It blew half a gale on Saturday. Could not get 
out ; but I am not sorry that we have been able to 
spend a Sabbath here, and see for ourselves how the 
people observe the Lord's Day. Yesterday, all day 
not a canoe came near the ship. I preached at 
nine a.m. to our Samoan party on board. At 
half-past ten Mr. Murray preached in English. 
At one we all went on shore for an afternoon 
service with the natives. Found about forty as- 
sembled. They all behaved well. No whispering 
or smiling all the time. Simeone prayed, and acted 
as interpreter to Mr. Murray and myself. Our hearts 
were filled with joy to see even such a day of small 
things on this heathen island. After going on board, 
had service with five Tanna men we have picked 
up here, and intend giving them a passage across 
to their home. I preached in the evening to the 

• On the death of a beloved child, too, the mother, or, it may 
be, the aunt, or the grandmother, is strangled to accompany it to 
the world of spirits. 



Tuesday, 22nd April, at Anchor, Port Resolution, 
Tanna. — Left Aneiteum this morning, and arrived 
here this afternoon. The Tanna lads on board 
shonted to the shore as we entered the heads, and 
before the anchor was well down, our old friend 
Kuanuan, and several of the chiefs, were out to the 
ship to welcome us. Glad to find that there is a re- 
action in our favour all round the bay, and even 
among the very people who were our greatest ene- 
mies. Kuanuan says that, after we left in 1843, 
dysentery raged more fatally than ever among our 
enemies. They still fought, however, with our 
people for a month, and then gave it up. For a 
long time they have been on friendly terms again, 
and say that they are now prepared to receive 
teachers. As a further proof of this, we find our 
Samoan teachers, Iona and Atamu, here, from the 
neighbouring island of Niua. They were blamed 
for causing disease, their lives were threatened, and 
they fled hither in a vessel which happened to touch 
there just at the time. 

Kuanuan was faithful *to our injunctions. He 
counted the days, kept up the remembrance of 
the Sabbath, and when our teachers came from 
Niua, they found that he had still got the day 
exactly, and met for prayer and religious conversa- 
tion with some twenty others. One of my first 
questions to him was, " Kuanuan, when is the Sab- 


bath?" He up with his left hand finger- almanack, 
counted, and told me correctly. He said that they 
had taken care of our house, but that a white man 
called Satan had come and taken up his abode in it 
whether they would or not. Kuanuan looked very 
serious as he told us his name, and added that he 
was lying sick. They tried to frighten him away by 
saying that we should drive him out of the house if 
we came and found him there, but he only laughed 
and said, "No, no; I know missionary.' ' We were 
curious to know who this " Satan" was, and also to 
shake hands with our old friends ; and so off Captain 
Morgan, Mr. Murray, and I went to the shore. 

A crowd of natives met us on the beach. Shame, 
surprise, and delight seemed depicted in their coun- 
tenances, and they followed us as we walked up to 
our house. Found all much as when we were driven 
two years ago. In passing from room to room we 
came to the "little pantry," and there we found 
the poor fellow of whose name Kuanuan seemed so 
suspicious. He reclined on a sort of bedstead made 
of some sticks lashed together, and raised a little off 
the ground. A mat and a blanket formed his scanty 
bedding. A loaded gun lay at his right side, another 
stood up in the corner at - his left. He had an old 
number of the Times newspaper in his hand, and 
a little fire smouldered in a hole in the earth at the 
foot of the bed. There he lay, with a long black 
beard, pale, pensive, and emaciated. As we a] )] >eare< 1 
at the door of the little place, he raised himself, 
bowed, and spoke most politely : " Have I the honour 

M1SSI0NAKY VOYAGE iN 1845. 375 

of addressing either Mr. Nisbet or Mr. Turner ?" 
"Yes," said Mr. Murray, "this is Mr. Turner." 
He said the natives spoke of us with great respect, 
and he hoped we might be able soon again to return, 
etc. But our hearts yearned over the poor fellow 
now before us. We wished to know about himself. 
He says his name is S — t — n ; that he is thirty-two 
years of age, and belongs to Essex. Was some time 
in New Zealand ; prospects failed ; came off sandal- 
wooding. Says he should have been killed at Mare 
but for our teachers. Was subsequently on Anei- 
teum, and now is laid up here. He came to try the 
hot springs. Says he has had sores all over his body, 
and now suffers principally from one on his " tendo 
Achillis, and from tertian ague." In every word we 
could trace a respectable origin and education. If I 
mistake not, he is nearly related to one of the most 
respectable families in England. His initials are 
R. M. S. He has no wish to leave at present. Says 
he has a desire to see all the islands, and then go 
home. Does not know what he should do but for 
our teachers. They never cook a meal without 
sharing it with him. The natives steal from him at 
all hands, day and night. As he was dropping off 
to sleep in the dark last night, he felt his last blanket 
beginning to move away. He pulled the trigger, 
and fired his gun through the roof of the house, 
when off the thieves fled. In the adjacent room we 
saw two decent-looking trunks. His principal re- 
quest is for arrow-root, medicine, and salves. We 
have promised him a supply, and have also invited 


him to come on board, and make himself at home 
with ns while we are here. 

After a stroll among the villages, sending mes- 
sages to the chiefs in the distance to come and meet 
with ns in the morning in onr old honse, we re- 
turned on board, and rejoiced to think that the way 
is perfectly clear for again taking up the mission. 

Wednesday, 23rd April. — Went on shore this 
morning. Found two or three hundred people 
waiting to receive us : all painted, armed, and to 
the eye of a stranger a fearful -looking crowd. But 
the women and children were there, and we who 
knew the people saw at a glance that all was peace 
and friendship, and threw ourselves among them 
with perfect confidence. Mrs. Turner's old school- 
girls came wading into the water, vieing with each 
other for the first shake of her hand ; and when we 
got into the house, they took up their places around 
her and our little girl Martha. Our invalid friend 
" Satan" was up, had shaved to a smart moustache, 
and dressed as well as his scanty wardrobe admitted ; 
but notwithstanding his humble habiliments, he had 
still the air and bearing of the gentleman. He 
doffed his red nightcap, received us at the door 
with a respectful bow, and seemed quite cheered 
by our presence and friendship. We had the prin- 
cipal chiefs and people assembled iu a large room, 
and the rest crowded about the doors and windows. 
I addressed them for Mr. Murray and myself, re- 
minded them of the way in which we were driven in 
1843, renewed our assurances of forgiveness and 


love, and told them that they had this day the fulfil- 
ment of our promise to them when we left, that we 
should again visit them. All seemed grateful, said 
that they wished teachers, and promised to behave 
better to them for the future. After a few words of 
exhortation and prayer, we separated, with the under- 
standing that the chiefs meet us on board to-morrow 
morning, to receive their teachers. Walked again 
up the hill, through the villages, and then returned 
to the ship. "We have now three Earotongan and four 
Samoan teachers, all ready for their location (D.V.) 
on the coming day. 

24th April. — Have had twelve of the chiefs on 
board to-day, and have committed to their care the 
teachers. We gave each of the chiefs the present 
of a hatchet, a knife, a fathom of calico, and a piece 
or two of Samoan native cloth. Begged them to be 
kind to their new teachers, and attend to their in- 
structions. Went on shore with the three who 
have gone to Kasurumene, and found a party wait- 
ing to receive them. They soon picked up the 
teachers' things, and off they went accompanied by 
the old chief Ietika. Captain Morgan, Mr. Murray, 
and I went along the road a bit with them, and 
then said good-bye, counselling the teachers to be 
faithful, and entreating the people to regard them 
as their best friends. To me it was especially 
affecting to see the very men, who, three years ago, 
were thirsting for our blood, now surrounding us 
with every expression of affection, and receiving so 
cordially these messengers of mercy. We deputed 


two of our Samoans to go all the way to Kasuru- 
mene, and return to-morrow with a report. Went 
on shore also with the teachers to be located in the 
mountain of Enekahi. Found that the people had 
cleared a piece of ground, and were preparing to 
erect a house for the teachers. Left there also 
other two, who are to spend the night, and bring us 
a report in the morning. 

25th April. — Our Samoans, who accompanied the 
teachers yesterday, returned this morning. Reports 
all that we could wish. At Kasurumene, their 
approach was hailed by the people with a shout. 
Ietika assembled the village. They all stood in a 
circle. He told them of our love to them, that he 
has received teachers, and that they are all pledged 
to attend to the Word of God. All assented, ex- 
pressed their delight, went off, killed a pig, blew 
up the oven, and received their new friends with a 
sumptuous repast. Accounts from those who went 
with the teachers to Enekahi, equally favourable. 
Have been trying to get a messenger sent to Nanni, 
chief of Pesu, but there is so much fighting going 
on in that direction we cannot get one to vent inc. 
We have been hoping to get some one here to go 
with us to Eromanga as an interpreter, but I am 
afraid we shall not succeed. Talked till after sun- 
down with a man at one of the villages who has 
been there, but he will not consent. They dread 
going near Eromanga. The chief Lahi, however, 
and another young man, have decided on going with 
us to Samoa, to see what the gospel has done there. 


Their wives and two children will also go. They 
are now on board, and we are ready for sea. 

Saturday Evening, 26th April, Port Resolution. — 
Conld not get out this morning. Wind right a- 
head and a heavy sea setting in. Mr. Murray and 
some others on board being desirous to see the 
volcano, and as we also wished to see for ourselves 
whether the tribes in that neighbourhood were now 
really friendly with this people, we went on shore 
to consult with old Kuanuan. He shrugged his 
shoulders, said he was afraid, and thought we had 
better take a gun with us. " No, no, Kuanuan ; 
you know we don't carry guns. ~No fear; come 
along." He ran in for his club, took the lead, and 
off we went, twelve of us, including some of our 
Samoans. All went on well. Was glad to see 
Raumia and other villages, which were burned at 
the time we were driven, built up and inhabited 
again. Had a look once more down the crater, 
saw two or three eruptions, and then returned. As 
we were leaving the mountain, we saw a party of 
forty armed men coming out of the bush. Kuanuan 
sprung up six inches higher than his usual gait, but 
there was no danger. They passed a little to our 
right, and returned warmly our friendly salutation 
and "good night." Rested and had some cocoa- 
nuts near the village of Maro. A lovely spot, look- 
ing down upon the harbour. Gave some beads to 
the children who crowded about us, and brought us 
cocoa-nuts and bananas. Only a month ago the 
Maro people killed, on that very spot, a poor fellow 


who had ventured from an inland tribe, to come and 
have a peep at a vessel at anchor. They cooked his 
body, and sent a leg to Fatarapa in the bay, bnt 
neither Viavia nor Knanuan would taste. Their 
people, however, thought it was too good to throw 
away. The inland tribe were soon in arms in search 
for their man, or some one in his place, and killed a 
woman near Maro. 

Sabbath Evening, 27 th April. — Have had the 
pleasure of once more spending a Sabbath at 
Tanna. Had a good turn-out of the natives on 
shore, and at nine a.m. I preached to them from, 
" Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt 
be saved." Mr. Murray preached to us on board in 
English at eleven. Had another service with the 
natives in the afternoon. Our invalid friend, whom 
Kuanuan calls " Satan," dined with us again to-day. 
Told us some more of his history. Hopes to go 
home in a year and a-half. He seems much better 
within the last day or two. Poor fellow ! he has 
friends in Sydney and in England who would grieve 
to see him in his present circumstances.* 

* While among these islands again in 1848, I was sorry to 
learn that this poor wanderer was killed at New Caledonia. 
Could not ascertain precisely what led to his death, but it must 
have occurred about two years after we parted with him at 

Another illustration of the way in which the missionary is a 
blessing to poor wanderers far from home and in distress, may 
be gathered from the following extract of a letter which was 
addressed to me from the United States of America some years 

" I beg to tender you the heartfelt gratitude of an afflicted 


Monday, 28th April, at Sea off Eromanga. — Fine 
fair wind this morning. Got out from Port Resolu- 
tion by six o'clock, and stood for 


Niua (JNTeeooah) is the native name. Captain 
Cook named these islands according to the names 
given him at Tanna. Hence the difference between 
the names on the chart, and the real name of the 
island. Mua is called Immer on the charts. It is 
a coral island, 200 feet above the level of the sea, 
and has a population of probably 600 natives. By 
nine o'clock we were close in. Lowered the boat, 
and went off with Mr. Murray and Captain Morgan. 

family and large circle of friends. Your afflicting but much 
valued epistle, which reached us a few weeks since, contained 
the first intelligence we received of my much beloved brother. 
. . . The manifest interest which you took in my brother 
during his sickness, and the great kindness you extended to us 
after his death, is a cause of much consolation to us all; but 
in a peculiar manner to my dear mother. That he should have 
had those with him who could administer to his spiritual wants, 
is to her a great comfort, and indeed the only thing which seems 
to reconcile her to this sad bereavement. My dear brother left 
home about three years since, and the first intelligence we re- 
ceived from him was contained in your and the accompanying 
letters. . . . My dear sir, I cannot express to you the con- 
solations we derive from the perusal of these three epistles which 
are now before us. Oh, sir, that they were on parchment ! for 
already do they show the effects of being handed from friend to 
friend and passed from State to State. My dear sir, I feel that 
I am inadequate to address you on this sad occasion, but trust- 
ing that your own heart will tell you more of our feelings than 
words can express, I bid you farewell." 


The entrance through the reef is narrow, and the 
sea was breaking. But we did not wish to land all 
at once, and so lay on our oars behind the reef, and 
waved to the natives to come out to us. They, too, 
were shy. Hearing that we were calling some of 
them by name, two of them dashed through the 
surf and swam out. They were the very men we 
wanted, viz., our old friends JSTaurita and Fangota, 
who had spent months with us- at Tanna. We got 
them into the boat, pulled off to the ship, and the 
result was, our taking up the mission again by 
locating two fresh teachers from Samoa. We have 
confidence in Fangota. He told us the Sabbath 
correctly, and assures us that he and some others 
still meet on that day and pray to God, as they were 
taught by the teachers and ourselves. 

By mid-day we had finished at Niua, and were 
heading for Eromanga. Mr. Murray and I paced the 
quarter-deck, hardly knowing Avhere to go. ''Now, 
where next ?" says Captain Morgan. " Dillon's 
Bay or Traitor's Head ? You decide. Fair wind 
for either." We had intended to go to Traitor's 
Head, and also to look in upon Takakum, where 
our teachers lived for a time, the year after Mr. 
Williams was killed. But, hearing at Tanna of the 
recent massacre of a party of Niua people at Taka- 
kum, and that the sandal- wooders have of late been 
fighting with the natives at both places, we thought 
it was a choice of difficulties, and determined to try 
once more at Dillon's Bay. We are now standing 
off* for the night, and hope to anchor in the morn- 


ing where everything will remind us of him who 
fell in the very first attempt to extend the gospel to 
these regions of darkness. 


Tuesday, 29th April, Dillon's Bay, Eromanga. — 
Anchored here this morning, close in- shore, and near 
the spot where onr lamented Williams fell. Not a 
canoe or house or plantation to be seen. By and by 
some natives made their appearance on the beach, 
and four of them swam off to us. We threw them 
a rope and soon they were in our midst on the 
quarter-deck. They shook from head to foot, 
seemed terribly frightened, but when we gave them 
some yams and bananas to eat, they sat down, 
looked cheerful, and as if they thought all was 
right. We gazed with indescribable interest upon 
these poor creatures, who were, no doubt, part and 
parcel of the murderers of Williams and Harris, on 
that fatal morning in November, 1839. They re- 
semble the Tannese, only they wear their hair short, 
and paint their faces black. Tried the Tannese and 
Niuan dialects, but could not get them to understand. 
We gave them each some beads, fish-hooks, bits of 
hoop-iron for adzes, and a plane-iron. They recog- 
nized the names of some of their chiefs, which we 
had obtained at Tanna. Tried to make them under- 
stand that we wanted these chiefs to come to us, 
then lowered the boat and took them on shore. As 
we pulled in, Captain Morgan pointed out the very 


spot where Mr. Williams rushed into the sea in his 
last struggle. At the beach a number of natives came 
running towards us. They were unarmed, but we 
could see no women or children among them. The 
bush close behind is like a thickset hedge ; could 
not see what was beyond. Might be full of armed 
men, as in November, 1839, for anything we could 
see. The four men we took on shore ran off imme- 
diately into the bush. We wondered what they were 
after ; thought they might be going for the chiefs, 
but back they came in a few minutes carrying some- 
thing, and one pulling a log after him. It was a 
present of sandal- wood in return for our kindness ! 
This was delightful. In the savage of Eromanga we 
have still the man, the human heart, the finest feel- 
ings. We smiled gratitude to the poor fellows, gently 
beckoned with the palm of the hand that they might 
keep it, and that we did not care about sandal- wood. 
They seemed surprised, but this was just such an 
opportunity as we wished of teaching them lesson 
the first, viz., that we are quite a different class of 
men from the sandal-wooders, and do not visit them 
for our own gain. Mr. Murray and I stood in the 
bow of the boat, gave some bits of cloth, beads, 
and fish-hooks, to those who crowded around us, 
and, having succeeded so far, in showing friend- 
ship and kindness, we returned to the ship. 

After dinner our four friends of the morning 
swam off again, bringing five others. None of 
them seemed to be a chief, and Lahi thought they 
said the chiefs could not come on account of fight- 


ing going on inland. We took them below, and 
showed them all over the ship. When we came to 
the portrait of Mr. Williams, Lahi pointed to it, 
thumped his head, threw himself back, showed the 
white of his eyes, let his tongue fall out, and then 
pointed to the shore by way of showing them that 
it was that man they killed. Lahi's gestures were 
unmistakeable, but they, warily, took little notice of 
them. We wrote down their names, and sent them 
again on shore, in the hope of their bringing off a chief. 
Towards sunset, we discovered, through the glass, 
a venerable-looking man sitting on a pile of stones 
on the beach, on the north side of the stream. 
" That is a chief," said Lahi. Manned the boat 
again, and took Lahi with us. Lahi's wife cried, 
and would hardly let him over the ship's side, but 
he promised not to land. As we neared the beach 
several swam out to meet us. We sent by them a 
present to the old man, but he turned his back to 
us, and would not look round. We shouted and 
beckoned for him to come, but he waved with his 
hand for us to be off. We tried to get some about 
us to come into the boat. They passed on the 
word to the shore for the old chief's consent, but 
he forbad, and, we suppose, ordered all out of the 
sea on to the beach, for they all left us. It was 
night, and we pulled back to the ship. Poor 
people ! The door seems quite shut. They will 
mark us, however, as " the vessel which shows 
kindness and does not take sandal- wood ;" and for 
that let us be thankful. 

c c 


We have at anchor alongside of us here a 
schooner from Sydney after sandal- wood.* The 
captain has been on board. Says he has been here 
for a week. Has not landed, nor have the natives 
brought off any provisions for sale. Now and then 
they swim off with a bit of sandal- wood, which he 
buys for beads, hoop-iron, and fish-hooks. Spends 
the most of his day in his long boat armed to the 
teeth. Wherever he sees some natives collected, 
with wood, he pulls in, buys from them from the 
rocks, with the pistol in the one hand, and his beads 
or fish-hooks in the other. What will man not do 
for money ? 

This captain tells us, further, that he was lately 
among the islands to the north, as far as Espirito 
Santo. Found all quiet, and no white man to be 
seen anywhere. Says that at Sandwich Island he 
fell in with a Samoa n called " Swallow," who was 
drifted down here with some Tongans and Samoans 
many years ago. He had him on board for some 
time, and found that he was known and influential 
at several islands of the group. He told him about 
the missionary vessel which carried about native 
teachers, and " Swallow's " last charges to the cap- 
tain were, that if he fell in with the missionary-ship, 
to implore the missionaries on board to take Samoan 

* The most of my readers are probably aware, that this is a 
fragrant wood, used as incense in the temples of Confucius, and 
in demand also in India and China, for the manufacture of fancy 
articles. It is sold by weight, and fetches some £15 or £20 per 
ton. Hence the number of vessels out from Sydney and else- 
where in the trade. 


teachers to Vate, the native name of Sandwich 

We are now full of interest in this tale about the 
wanderer " Swallow." It seems something like the 
finger of God. If we can only get hold of that man, 
we have an interpreter at once to all with whom he 
is acquainted. Our greatest difficulty to-day has 
been the want of some one through whom we could 
speak to the people. The captain of the schooner 
has given us the bearings of the place, and also a 
young New Zealander, who says he lived some time 
with " Swallow," and we are bound for the place 
the first thing in the morning. 

Our Samoans are all wondering whoever this 
f< Swallow" will turn out to be. My servant recol- 
lects a tale he heard at home about some one be- 
longing to their family called Sualo (or Swallow), 
who left once in a Tongan canoe, and was never 
more heard of. To-morrow will, I trust, put an end 
to all conjectures. When we left Mua the turning 
of a straw apparently would have taken us to 
Traitor's Head. We feel thankful to God for hav- 
ing so guided our deliberations, as to bring us to 
Dillon's Bay, where we have fallen in with this 
schooner, and heard of this Samoan for whom we 
are about to search. 


Wednesday, 30th April, at Sea off Sandwich 
Island. — Left Dillon's Bay this morning. Took a 


long look at the beach, but could not see a single 
native. Had a fine wind, and sighted this island 
about two o'clock. At sunset were off the place 
on the south-west side, where we expect to find 
" Swallow," but it was too late to communicate 
with the shore, and so we have stood off for the 

Thursday, 1st May, at Anchor, Sandwich Island. — 
Stood in this morning, and are now at anchor in a 
spacious bay under the lee of a little island. As we 
neared the south-west point, we lowered the boat and 
sent on shore the New Zealander, and two of our 
Samoan teachers, to run inland and fetch " Swallow." 
The natives are remarkably shy.* Have seen num- 
bers of them in the distance, but not one will come 
near. It is night. We have burned a blue light 
and set a lantern aloft, and hope we may yet have 
the arrival of " Swallow " to-night. 

Friday, 2nd May. — " Swallow " did not come in 
the night. This morning the natives were seen 
mustering on shore. They launched their canoes, 
and paddled about surveying us on all sides in the 
distance. At length a bold, good-natured looking 

* No wonder they were shy. It turned out that this was the 
very place where the captain and part of the crew of the " Cape 
Packet " were massacred, and the^ship plundered, burned to the 
water's edge and then sunk. We did not know this till the 
following year, but we accounted for their shyness by what we 
knew of the doings of a three-ship sandal-wood expedition, 
who fought liere three years before, carried off yams and pigs, 
killed numbers of the natives, and suffocated others in caves, 
whither they had fled for refuge. 


fellow mustered courage and drew near. We gave 
him some strips of cloth for the yams he handed 
up. Got him on deck. Showed him about the 
ship. Gave him some trifling presents, and now he 
was frantic with joy. He took a fancy to Captain 
Morgan's checked neckerchief, and, with the most 
winning gestures, commenced gently to untie it. 
" Don't let him do that," some of us said, but our 
kind-hearted captain could not say No. " Poor 
fellow, he may as well have it !" He spread it out 
in admiration. Captain Morgan made signs for him 
to keep it, and as he went below for another one, 
the fellow jumped up, stood on the bulwarks, and 
shouted out to his comrades, who were eagerly 
waiting in their canoes in the distance. We could 
not catch his dialect, but no doubt, he praised us 
to the skies, as he spread out and waved his 
presents, one by one, neckerchief and all. In- 
stantly every paddle was in the water, and on they 
came, splash, splash, splashing and racing to be 
first. Their confidence was won, and as they were 
unarmed, we did not fear treachery. They are a 
fine race, a shade or two lighter than the Tannese ; 
they are taller and stouter also. Several of their 
words we recognize as Eastern Polynesian. 

But it was now nine o'clock, and still no appear- 
ance of the party we landed yesterday. So off we 
set in the boat, Mr. Murray, Captain Morgan, and 
I, with a good crew, in search of them. Presently 
we met a fleet of canoes. They shied off towards 
the shore, as if afraid of us. We lowered our sail, 


and beckoned them to come near. I pulled out of 
my pocket a piece of print, shook it out and held 
it up as a flag of peace. On this, one canoe ven- 
tured out to us. We tore the print in strips, a 
piece for each man, handed it to them, and made 
signs for them to go to the ship with some yams 
they had. All right again. The word was passed 
to the other canoes, and off they all set towards 
the vessel? 1 A mile further on, we met another 
party in five canoes, and to our joy saw our teachers 
among them all safe. They had found the man 
" Swallow," and there he was, sitting with them. 
We took them into the boat. The teachers first 
gave us their tale. They had a narrow escape 
yesterday. At the first village they reached, all 
were friendly, and a native joined them. As 
they approached the next village, down sat the 
New Zealander, and declared he would go no fur- 
ther. He said that he and " Swallow " had fought 
there not long ago, and that the people would kill 
him. " Why did you not tell us that when we were 
in the ship ?" said our teachers. " No, we cannot 
go back now. Come along. Live or die, we must 
go through with our errand, now that we have under- 
taken it." On they went. The New Zealander was 
recognized at the next village, and all were instantly 
on their feet to embrace the chance and kill him. 
The native who had just joined them, pleaded for the 
strangers, offered his own life for them, and so they 
were allowed to pass. After a time they reached 
Krakor, the village where " Swallow " was said to 


live. Some of the long-lost Samoans and Tongan 
women recognized the Samoan faces of our teachers, 
rushed out of the houses in amazement, and burst 
into a fit of crying, as if wailing over the dead. 
The settlement was all in commotion, and, by and 
by, the teachers found themselves in " Swallow's " 
house, surrounded by a company listening with 
breathless interest to all they said. They explained 
to them the good news of salvation and happiness 
in heaven, through Christ the Son of God ; told 
them what changes the Word of God had brought 
about in Samoa ; told them also that God's ser- 
vants were still carrying on the good work, and 
that we had actually come, in a large vessel, out of 
love to them, to begin this good work among them- 
selves : and now, said our teachers, " decide at once 
who among you will now cast off heathenism, and 
begin the service of the true God?" Twelve of them, 
including " Swallow " and the chief of the village, 
at once decided to embrace the new religion, and, 
for the first time, bowed their heads and united 
in prayer to the one living and true God. The 
teachers were delighted with the result of their 
expedition, and so were we. 

By the time the teachers finished their tale to us 
in the boat, we had reached the vessel. Found it 
crowded with natives, and all perfectly friendly. As 
soon as we got on board, we sat down with our in- 
teresting wanderer " Swallow." He calls himself 
Sualo (Sooallow) ; belongs to Savaii ; left Samoa 
some time after the Atua war — twenty years ago 


probably — in company with, about fifty others, prin- 
cipally Tongans. They were in a double canoe, and 
bound for Tonga. Missed their island, and were 
blown away in this direction. They made the island 
of Tongoa, or the " Three Hills," to the north of this 
island. There they landed, club in hand, fought, 
conquered, and took possession of two settlements. 
They lived there a couple of years, and then started 
afresh, to try and find Tonga. Failed again. Made 
the very bay where we are now at anchor, and again 
settled down. Ague cut off numbers of them. 
They then went in search of a more healthy locality, 
and have ever since lived at Erakor. Death con- 
tinued to thin their number, and now they are re- 
duced to nine, six here and three on Tongoa. Sualo 
is quite a heathen, has three wives, has been a great 
warrior, and is one of the most daring fighters on 
the island. Chiefs are in the habit of hiring him, 
for a pig or two, to join them in their battles. He 
takes the lead, dashes among the enemy with his 
long-handled tomahawk, lays low his victims, and 
decides the contest. He has with him now his in- 
strument of death, concealed as well as he can with 
the head of it next to the palm of his hand, and 
the handle running up under his arm. He promises 
to begin a new life, and will, we trust, be of great 
service to us. He seems . to know all the natives 
from the shore here, and they are as pleased as we 
are to have him through whom to speak to us. 

In addition to his own history, Sualo has given 
us some information respecting this lovely island 


and its population. It is probably 100 miles in cir- 
cumference. No black lava to be seen anywhere ; 
all an uplifted coral formation. There are numbers 
of deep bays, with anchorage and fresh water, all 
round, and on the north-west side there is a large 
land-locked harbour. Population, 12,000 perhaps. 
No king whose rule extends over all the island, but 
numbers of petty chiefs here and there. The people 
are decently covered compared with the Eromangans 
and Tannese. They are girded round the waist with 
half a dozen turns of fancy matting belts, eight 
inches deep. Another strip is passed down in front 
and up behind. Hair woolly and short. Trinkets 
round the neck. Armlets are also worn. No tatoo- 
ing ; paint the face only in war. They live in regular 
villages. Houses long, 100 feet sometimes, but low 
and narrow. Plenty of the usual Polynesian fruits 
and vegetables ; pigs and domestic fowls also. 
Diversity of dialect, but not so much as at Tanna. 
Have intercourse, and intermarry, to some extent, all 
over the island. Not so much given to war as some 
other islands. Have no fire-arms ; fight with clubs, 
spears, and poisoned arrows. The conquering party 
will give up the dead body of one of the enemy for 
a pig or some other present ; failing that, they cook 
it. If it is one who spoke ill of the chief, his jaws 
are hung up in the chief's house as a trophy. All 
kinds of other bones are also hung up about the 
posts and rafters of the house. It is a strange mark 
of rank among them. The greater the chief, the 
greater the display of bones. 


Infanticide is sadly prevalent. As the burden of 
plantation and other work devolves on the woman, 
she thinks she cannot attend to more than two or 
three children, and that the rest must be buried as 
soon as they are born. There are exceptions to this 
want of maternal affection. At times the husband 
urges the thing, contrary to the wishes of his wife. 
If he thinks the infant will interfere with her work, 
he forcibly takes the little innocent, and buries it, 
and she, poor woman, cries for months after her 

There are no idols to be seen here. The people 
worship the spirits of their ancestors. They pray 
to them, over the kava-bowl, for health and pros- 
perity ; reminding us, again, of the origin of 
"healths," " toasts," etc. Not much sickness, and 
many old people. Sualo says, "the men live till the 
beards of their sons are gray." Disease traced to 
human causes. If one man is angry with another, 
he goes at night and buries certain leaves close by 
his house, that the person, in coming out in the 
morning, may step over them, and be taken ill. If a 
person feels poorly, he thinks he must have stepped 
over some of those leaves buried by an enemy. 
He sends for native doctors, who administer juices 
from the bush, and search for the mischievous leaves. 
They get pigs for their fees. If the patient dies, it 
is supposed that the leaves have not been found 
out. Great wailing at death. Scratch their faces 
till they are streaming with blood. Bodies of the 
dead buried. The spirits of the departed supposed 


to go westward. At the entrance to their hades, 
one called Salatau sits with a hatchet in his hand. 
Every one that comes gets a blow on the head, and 
is sent below. 

Canoes inferior ; still they venture a long way in 
them, and have intercourse with some of the islands 
to the north. Sualo has given us the names of fifteen 
of these islands to the north, including Espirito Santo, 
and says he has been at the most of them. What 
a field ! When, oh when, will it be occupied ! He 
was at the large harbour to the north-west some time 
ago, where the sandal- wood expedition, three years 
ago, under Captains S , D , and H , an- 
chored and committed the most outrageous acts of 
wickedness. He says it is quite true that many were 
killed, and many more suffocated in a cave. They 
pulled down some houses, dragged them to the 
mouth of the cave, and there set fire to them, until 
the cries of those inside the cave were hushed in 
death. Two women were taken on board, and kept 
there while the vessels were at anchor. Plantations 
were plundered, and the yams, together with hun- 
dreds of pigs, taken away. Such is Sualo' s account. 
Hope, on a subsequent voyage, to go to the large 
harbour, and hear more particularly all about it. 
The name here for white men is " sailing profli- 
gates." What a name ! Given by heathens, too. 

Saturday, 3rd May. — Ready for sea again. Have 
located four Samoan teachers ; Setefano and Mose 
in the settlement where Sualo lives, and Taavili and 
Sipi at Pango, in the bay here. Might have located 


forty if we had them. We had no idea when we 
left Samoa of more than a reconnoitre here this 
voyage, but having been driven from Futuna, still 
shut out from Eromanga, and having had the door 
opened to us here in such a remarkable manner, the 
course was plain, and now we have fairly entered. 
With hearts thankful to God for this fresh advance 
on the territory of Satan, and encouraged for the 
future, we are now ready for sea, and bound for the 
Loyalty Islands and New Caledonia. 

Monday, hth May, at Sea. — This morning a brig 
hove in sight, on our lee quarter, standing for Tanna. 
He hoisted his colours ; could not make them out. 
He then fired two guns. We hoisted our " number." 
He then put about and made towards us, with his 
ensign half-mast high. Supposing him to be in dis- 
tress, we headed round. Met at twelve o'clock. It 

turned out to be the " N ," Captain C , 

D L B owner, ten months from China, 

and after sandal- wood and beech-le-mer ; a large 
crew in distress for provisions, and imploring help. 
Captain Morgan asked him to come on board, and 
arranged to let him have two months' provisions 

in exchange for saws, hatchets, etc. Captain C 

is suspicious of the Lifu people. Thinks they are 
watching their chance to take a vessel. He 
brought on board with him a young Englishman 
he picked up there. Thinks he is likely to put 
mischief into the heads of the natives, and in- 
tends keeping him in the ship while he is about the 
group. We took this poor fellow aside and talked 


with him. Quite young ; twenty, perhaps. Of re- 
spectable origin apparently ; fair hair, and light com- 
plexion. Decently clothed ; but he has allowed his 
hair to grow long, and we can imagine what he is 
when he is on shore among the natives. He calls 

himself Charles George B , of Bristol. Left the 

"Munford" four years ago, and has been knocking 
about at Lifu ever since. " Nobody cares for me, 
and what need I care for them?" was one of his 
speeches, as Mr. Murray and I advised the poor 
prodigal to go back to his father's house. Spoke 
also to a young chief of Uea, called Iokui, who came 

on board with Captain C . Uea is the name of 

a group, to the north-west of this, and well reported 
of. This young man speaks broken English, and, 
with an earnestness which I shall never forget, im- 
plored us to take teachers to them. Told him we 
had none this voyage, but hope to reach his group 
of islands next cruise. 

Wednesday, 7 th May, at Sea, off Lifu. — Yester- 
day and to-day, beating to windward to the bay 
where we hope to find two teachers. As we tacked 
in this afternoon, a canoe came off with five natives. 
Not unlike the Feejeeans in colour and figure. Two 
came on deck. We bought their cocoa-nuts, and 
gave them something extra. Could not catch a word 
they said. They covered their faces with their hands, 
bowed their heads, pointed to the skies, and said, 
" Iehovah." Thinking we might not understand this, 
the two on deck called over to the three in the canoe 
alongside. Immediately they all untied and pulled 


off some long strips of native cloth which they had 
wound round their long hair, bowed the head, and 
one in the canoe commenced talking at the top of 
his voice, with his eyes shut. Whatever is it ? We 

listened " Iehovah." .... "Iesu." . . . . 

"Atua." .... "Iehovah." .... They are pray- 
ing. Listen ! All was quiet and solemn ; and by 
and by they come to the unmistakeable " Amen." 
Their heads were up again ; and as they readjusted 
their hair, the leer of the eye was as much as to say, 
" You see how well we can do it. You must now 
know that we are friendly, and pray to the true 
God!" They echoed the names of our teachers, 
pointed to the land, and we commissioned them, as 
well as we could by signs, to go on shore and send 
out our teachers. The New Hebrides natives are low 
enough, but these poor fellows are lower still. Not a 
rag of clothing ; not a leaf even. Only the broad 
bandage, or open cap, for the hair of the head. 

Thursday, 8th Mai/, at Sea, off Idfu. — We are now 
off Mu, on the south-east side of the island, where 
our teachers are. No anchorage ; and on standing 
in, are in danger of being drifted on shore. Towards 
evening, got our two teachers, Paoo and Sakaria, 
on board, with the blind chief Bula (Boola), and his 
chief speaker, and some young men the descendants 
of Tongans who were drifted here many years ago. 
This is the first missionary visit to Idfu. Paoo and 
Sakaria were left at Mare three years ago, with in- 
structions to come on to Lifu as soon as possible. 
Th y came in October, 1842. Have been kindly 


treated by the natives ever since. Bnt Sakaria lias 
turned out bad ; he has been living like a heathen. 
Paoo, however, has been faithful, and a number are 
gathered together on the side of a nominal Chris- 
tianity. They gtill fight, however, have night 
dances, pray to their ancestors, and add to all the 
worship of God. A change has of late come over 
the chief Bula ; he has given up cannibalism. For- 
merly he has had sixteen cooked bodies laid before 
him at a meal, now he will not touch human flesh, 
and threatens death to any of his family who ever 
again tastes of it. This was confirmed by the young 

Englishman, B , we saw yesterday. If a cooked 

body is sent to him as a present, he gives orders to 
bury it. The Lifu people have had no hand in the 
late massacres at Mare and the Isle of Pines. They 
have occasional intercourse, however, and traffic with 
these islands. There is a party here now from the 
Isle of Pines, and they are trying to persuade the 
Lifu people to take a vessel also, as a good specu- 
lation — a royal road to wealth. 

Off Lifu, Friday, 9th May. — Through Paoo, as 
interpreter, have had a long talk this morning with 
Bula and his party. Were minute in describing the 
miseries they will bring upon themselves if they at- 
tempt to take vessels. Exhorted them to take a firm 
stand on the side of Christianity, and let it still be 
the glory of their land that it is unstained by the 
blood of a stranger. This touched the right cord. 
Bula's speaker was on his feet directly, and holding 
on by the rail of the saloon settee, addressed us 


with great earnestness as follows : "In all past 
generations Lifu has had a good name. Lifu has 
always been kind to strangers. You see these Ton- 
gans sitting here ? Go on shore, and you will see 
the graves of their fathers who were drifted hither, 
and lived and died among us. Go on shore, and you 
w ill see the children of Tanna men. The fathers are 
all dead and buried, but the children live. We 
have always been kind to white men too. Do not 
be suspicious. We are not going to take a bad 
name for a good one. Now, too, that we have re- 
ceived the Word of God, we are all the more deter- 
mined to be kind and good to all." They left the 
ship, assuring us that they would drive off these bad 
fellows from the Isle of Pines, and reject their 
wicked project. 

Lifu is probably eighty miles in circumference ; 
an uplifted coral formation, and covered with pines 
in some places. The highest land on the island may 
be 300 feet above the level of the sea. Population 
probably 8,000 or 10,000. Two political divisions 
of the island. Kuiet is at the head of the one, and 
Bula at the head of the other. Both at present 
are hostile. Fought some time ago. Forty killed 
on the side of Bula, and seventy on the side of 
Kuiet. At present they kidnap from each other, 
and dress for the oven a body when they get one. 
They are inveterate cannibals, but this has received 
a deathblow from Christianity. Great feasting at 
their principal times for spirit worship. They pre- 
serve relics of their dead, such as finger-nails, teeth, 


tufts of hair, and these are, in fact, their idols . 
Polygamy prevails. Bula has forty wives. Com- 
mon men three or four. The dead are buried, if 
not cooked. The spirit is supposed to go west- 
ward at death, to a place called Loeha. People in 
general healthy. In sickness send for native doc- 
tors, whose remedies are herbs and salt water. No 
cure, no pay ! Laulaati is the name of their creator. 
Said to have made a stone, out of which came the 
first man and woman. The people are industrious, 
and build round houses fifty feet in diameter. Only 
one dialect in the island, pure Papuan. A sandal- 
woo der lately shot fourteen men on the north-west 
side of the island, and the people there had a plot 
laid to take a ship, but it did not succeed. 

Iona and his wife, who were at Tanna, and in- 
tending to return to Samoa, have volunteered to join 
Paoo here, and help him for a year or two. May 
Grod bless their labours ! There is much to be done 
on these cannibal shores. 

We have left Lifu, and have shortened sail for 
the night, as we are surrounded by islands. Counted 
seven of them at sunset, including New Caledonia. 

Saturday, 10th May, at Sea off Mare. — Knowing 
that between thirty and forty of our countrymen 
have been massacred on the island, within the last 
two years, we approached it to-day with no small 
concern for the safety of our teachers. We saw 
numbers of the natives in the distance, but they 
were afraid of us. Canoes all hauled up. Captain 
Morgan proposed to go in first and reconnoitre. 

D D 


We sent a Samoan with him to shout to the natives 
on the rocks in Samoan, thinking that would be 
sure to bring the teachers, if alive. We followed 
the captain closely with our glasses. He kept well 
off, hoisted a white flag, and lay on his oars. 
Then up went a white flag on a long stick from a 
crowd of natives on shore. Among them and close 
to the flag, we saw a straw hat and a white shirt. 
" That's our teacher," we all said. The captain 
still kept off. Then down went the man with the 
straw hat into a canoe with three others, and pushed 
off. Pulled slowly away in another direction, evi- 
dently afraid of the boat. Soon however they head 
round, both parties are pulling towards each other, 
presently the man with the straw hat is into the 
boat, and the captain is heading out to the ship. 

It turned out to be our Samoan teacher Tataio. 
It was like life from the dead to see him among us, 
and with no small interest we listened to his 
tale. He has been well himself, and, to our 
astonishment, has been kindly treated by the 
natives. Eight months ago his fellow-teacher, 
Taniela, of Tutuila, died of consumption. His 
greatest grief at the last was the thought of leaving 
Tataio all alone. The natives wept and wailed, as 
if it had been one of themselves. Their next fear 
was, lest anything should happen to Tataio. Were 
more careful than ever to supply him with food. 
Would not allow him to work. Forbad his going 
off to ships. "If," said they, "you die or get 
killed, the missionary ship will come, and think that 


we have killed both you and Taniela. Numbers 
joined the new religion at the outset in 1841. But, 
after a time, there was a falling off, owing to a 
severe influenza epidemic. "We thought," said 
they, " that if we prayed to God we were to be free 
from sickness, but here it is as bad as ever." Then 
up came a message from Mantungu, the chief of the 
Isle of Pines, saying that they had killed their 
teachers, thought that they had been better in 
health since, and advised the old chief Ieui to kill 
Tataio and Taniela. "What," said Ieui, "kill my 
children ! No, I can never do that. And as to 
disease, why you die and we die, and all are to die 
some day. Who lives for ever ?" But this kind- 
hearted old man still holds on to heathenism ; and 
as the people do what the chief does, Tataio has 
no marked cases of conversion to report. He plods 
on, however, every Sabbath at religious services. 
Four or five attend regularly, and some others 
occasionally. We thought Tataio would wish to 
leave ; but no, he wishes to remain. Has hopes of 
ultimate success, and so we have decided to let him 
hold on. We have appointed another to help him ; 
have given them their supplies, and the boat has gone 
on shore with them, but Tataio returns to spend the 
night with us, and give us what particulars he knows 
of the massacres which have taken place here. 

Saturday Night, 10th May, at Sea off Mare. — 
Tataio returned this afternoon, bringing with him 
Naisilini, the son of old Ieui, and we have been 
listening for an hour or two to their sad tales. The 


first massacre of which. Tataio knows, was that of a 
boat's crew, six in nnmber, who we suppose be- 
longed to the " Martha," of Sydney, towards the 
end of 1841. They pulled in to a place on the 
north-west side of the island, called Sereuamiet, to 
look for sandal-wood. They landed, looked about, 
and were all in the boat about to return to the ship. 
The chief wished to join them, and have a look at 
the vessel. They refused, he persisted, and when 
the men commenced pulling, one of the oars acci- 
dentally struck his head. The beach was crowded 
with natives, who on seeing their chief wounded, and 
some supposing that it had been done intentionally, 
rushed forward, killed the whole party, and smashed 
the boat to pieces. The bodies were cooked. 

Then followed the attack on the " Brigand," in 
November, 1843. She anchored at a place called 
Bula, six or eight miles from where the teachers 
resided. Tataio and Taniela went off to see what 
she was, told the captain that the natives were 
savages, and that he ought not to land. A Mr. 
Sutton and another proposed to take a run on 
shore under the wing of Taniela, and off they went 
to the village where the teachers live. Tataio, at 
the request of the captain, remained on board. 
That morning ten of the crew went on shore after 
women, and remained all night. Early in the morn- 
ing, a number of the natives came to the vessel, and 
begged Tataio to go on shore. At first he refused, 
then yielded ; he suspected from their urgency that 
something was wrong, and, as he left, told the captain 


to look well after his ship. When he got on shore, 
he and Naisilini, who was with him, were called into 
a house to have a bit of food. As they were eating, 
they were startled by the sudden roars and yells of 
a fight close by them, and, at the same moment, 
bang, bang went a number of guns out at the 
vessel. They threw down their food, darted out, 
and were just in time to receive into their arms one 
of the white men who had cleared the crowd, and 
rushed to them. He would have been speared in a 
moment by those at his heels, but out of respect to 
Tataio and the chieftain rank of Naisilini, no one 
dared to touch him. The other nine, however, were 
all dead in a few seconds. The natives had enticed 
them out of the house singly into the bush, on pre- 
tence of taking them to women, and when they had 
thus separated them, each wheeled round and struck 
his man. An attack was made at the same time on 
board the vessel. There the plot was that four 
natives rush upon each man, to fasten his hands be- 
hind his back, while another clubbed him. The 
captain made a desperate effort, extricated himself, 
sprang below, got to his fire-arms, took his aim, 
shot one man dead, and when he fell on the deck, 
all the rest jumped overboard, and made off to the 
shore, leaving two of their own party and one of 
the white men dead. 

Tataio and Kaisilini hastened off along the coast 
home with the white man they had saved. A report 
of the massacre had preceded them, and Taniela had 
sent off in safety to the ship the two who were with 


him. The captain got up anchor, and ran out to sea. 
He stood in again on the following day, and gave 
the teachers an opportunity of sending off to the 
vessel the man they had saved. The bodies of the 
unhappy sufferers were all cooked. So far as we 
can judge, the great object which the natives had in 
view by this massacre was the acquisition of property, 
such as was obtained by the Isle of Pines people 
when they took the brig " Star" the year before. 

The next affray at Mare was the murder of the 
entire crew of the " Sisters," a small vessel from 
Sydney, like the rest, also in search of sandal-wood. 
She anchored at Uelo, on the north-west side, ten 
or twelve miles from where our teachers were. The 
natives took off yams for sale. Bartering went on 
well for a time, and then the captain quarrelled with 
the chief over a perfect trifle. The chief had two 
yams, and wanted two bits of hoop iron for them. 
The captain gave him one piece, and insisted on hav- 
ing the hvo yams. The chief refused, and, on this, 
the captain seized a rope's end, and gave him a 
beating. The chief ordered all his people on shore, 
and at once they laid the plot to take the vessel. 
Next morning they went on board. The crew were 
below at breakfast, quite off their guard. The na- 
tives divided themselves into groups. Presently the 
crew came on deck, the signal was given, and, in a 
minute or two, all on board, consisting of eleven in- 
dividuals, were overpowered and fell. Seven of the 
bodies were thrown into the sea, and four were taken 
on shore to cook. They then stripped the vessel of 


everything they wanted, and set fire to her, as 
they heard the Isle of Pines natives had done with 
the " Star." While turning over their treasures on 
shore, and opening everything, they came upon some 
kegs of powder. They had an idea of what it was, 
and began amusing themselves by the blazes from 
small quantities thrown into the fire in the middle 
of the house. Some sparks reached the open kegs, 
and then there was a fearful explosion. The great 
house was blown to pieces, four were killed, and 
many wounded. Among the killed was a chief who 
was greatly lamented, and this set them all in a 
rage, and vowing vengeance on the first white men 
they could get hold of. Our teachers, Tataio and 
Taniela, were at their own station when this hap- 
pened. The natives for a while concealed it from 
them, said it was a vessel which had been cast 
ashore, and all the crew dead ; but after a time the 
account of the affair came out which Tataio has just 
told us. 

Two boats and many other things belonging to 
the " Sisters" were taken to Lifu. Our teachers 
there, hearing whence they had come, offered things 
in exchange, and succeeded in procuring a chrono- 
meter, sextant, boat, and log-book. These they in- 
tended to keep until the missionary vessel came, and 

then deliver them up. Captain L , of the barque 

"Magnet," touched there, and forced the teachers to 
give them up to him. They parted with them reluc- 
tantly, and asked Captain L to give them what 

they gave for the articles, since he must have them. 


That even was refused ; and, subsequently, the most 
unfounded reports were spread abroad respecting 

these teachers, which, had Captain L been able to 

speak to them, or had he even communicated through 
an honest interpreter, would never have been circu- 
lated. When at Lifu, a few days ago, we received 
from our teachers a writing-desk and some other 
articles, which Captain Morgan will take to Sydney, 
and hand to the friends of the unhappy sufferers. 

Tataio has yet another massacre of which to tell 
us. The murderers of the crew of the " Sisters," 
who were thirsting for the blood of a white man to 
avenge the death of their chief, who was blown up 
with the gunpowder, had not long to wait. A large 
boat, with seven men in her, put in not long after, 
near the same place. This was a party of runaway 
convicts from Norfolk Island. Five of them were 
killed, and the boat broken to pieces. The other two 
had gone off to forage in the bush, and, happily, met 
with old Ieui and his sons, who were travelling there 
that very day about some war affairs. The mur- 
derers of the five were in search of the other two ; 
found them with Ieui and his sons, and proposed to 
kill them. Ieui refused, and took them home with 
him. They lived for two months under the wing 
of the old chief and our teachers, and were kindly 

But the fellows were out and out Norfolk 
Islanders. One night they got up and robbed old 
Ieui of four muskets, ten hatchets, four felling axes, 
and a saw. Then they went to the teachers' house, 


took four shirts, two knives, and an axe, and off 
they set in the teachers' canoe, to join some white 
men reported to be at Lifu. At daylight the things 
were missed, and the place in an uproar. Suspicion 
fell on the teachers. " Their canoe is away ; they 
must have helped the fellows to lift it into the 
water/' etc. " No," said Tataio, " how can that be ? 
We are robbed, too, and our canoe gone, to boot ! 
But, I'll tell you : they cannot be far away ; let us 
be off after them. I go, for one. Who will join me ?" 
A party was made up in a twinkling, and off they 
went ; hard drive at their paddles, out to sea, in the 
direction of Lifu. Soon they sighted something 
rising now and then on the top of the waves. Two 
men in it ; just the fellows. A little further, and 
they were in sight of each other. The thieves 
loaded their muskets, and fired two or three shots. 
No one was hurt. Their pursuers paddle steadily 
on, and are determined to be at them. Then they 
threw the stolen property into the sea towards them, 
but who could pick up sinking axes ? All were lost- 
The two scoundrels knew what they deserved ; 
thought it was a choice of deaths, and jumped into 
the sea to drown themselves. " Poor fellows," said 
Tataio, " they think we are going to kill them. Let 
us save them if we can." He got his hand into the 
mouth of one of them when he had all but sunk, 
and pulled him up. The other was also secured, 
and laid flat in the bottom of the canoe, half dead. 
The sea was running high, the outrigger broke, and 
all had to jump out, except the two vagabonds, who 


were lying senseless in the bottom of the canoe. 
But it was hard work to swim and drag the dis- 
abled canoe through a heavy sea. " What are we 
doing ?" said the natives to each other. " By and 
by we shall be all dead. Why should we be drowned 
in trying to save these fellows ? It is their own 
doing. Let us tilt the canoe over, pitch them out, 
and save ourselves. " No," said Tataio ; " see the 
current is drifting us fast to that little island. Let 
us try it a little longer." 

They reached the little island, landed, rested, and 
scolded the two scoundrels, as they recovered and 
were able to listen to what was going on. Some 
natives on the island, when they heard the tale, would 
have them killed, but the votes with Tataio carried 
it for their lives. " Well, then, spare their lives ; 
but we rrmst punish them." They stripped them 
naked, besmeared them from head to foot with a 
mixture of mud and ashes, and then said, " Now you 
must go about so." Native-like, however, they re- 
pented next day, washed the fellows clean, and gave 
them back their clothes. After resting a day or two, 
the party returned to Mare. 

The Mare people were delighted to see the party 
return ; but, when they heard the story, and knew 
that all the property was thrown away, they could 
hardly keep their clubs off the vagabonds. But old 
Ieui united with the teachers, and forbad. " What 
good," said he, "will it do to kill them ? It won't 
bring back my property." Here, again, they were 
allowed to live, and were fed, too, by the people as 


if nothing had happened, until they had an oppor- 
tunity of leaving in a vessel which touched at the 
place some time after. Call the natives of Mare 
savage or treacherous, or whatever we may, there 
are still some good sort of folks among them. Here 
is an example of humane forbearance in this old 
Ieui which many a civilized people would find hard 
to imitate. 

Tataio says that the Mare people are now sorry 
they have killed so many white men, and are deter- 
mined to stop it. This constant dread of white men 
and guns, when a vessel heaves in sight, is unbear- 
able. Mare is a smaller island than Lifu. It, too, 
is a mass of uplifted coral. There are marks of two 
distinct upheavings. The highest parts may be 300 
feet above the level of the sea. Nengone is the 
native name of the island. The name Mare, which 
is so prevalent, is said to be the name given to the 
island on the Isle of Pines. There is a twofold 
division of the island, in which the people are at 
enmity with each other. Polygamy prevails. Ieui 
has twenty wives. The dead are buried. Bodies of 
the enemy who are kidnapped or fall in battle, are 
cooked. Disease-makers similar to those at Tanna. 
Have finger-nail, tooth, and hair relics, as at Lifu, 
and deify the spirits of the departed. 

Sabbath Evening, 11th May, at Sea off Neiv Cale- 
donia. — Captain Morgan went in early this morning 
at Mare, and put Tataio and Naisilini on shore for 
their Sabbath services. Wind light and fair, and so 
we stood off for New Caledonia. Sighted it this 


afternoon, and now we are waiting for the return of 
day to communicate with the shore. 

12th May, off Neiv Caledonia. What a noble 
island ! Upwards of 200 miles long and 50 broad. 
Well known since the days of Cook, and yet how 
little has been done for its heathen population ! 
We were close in off the south-east corner of the 
island by eleven a.m. Whenever the boat made her 
appearance, our teachers Noa and Taunga were all 
ready to come off to the vessel. Glad to see them 
alive and well, poor fellows ; but they too had sorrow- 
ful tales to tell us. They first told us of the death 
of their fellow-teacher Teura, a Rarotongan, last 
July. He died of consumption. His end was peace 
and joy, full of the hope of heaven. 


Then followed an account of the massacre of the 
teachers who were at the Isle of Pines. There were 
three of them. They were blamed for causing sick- 
ness. Mantungu, the chief, ordered them away, and 
as Captain Ebrill of the brig " Star" was there at 
the time, and offered to take them to Samoa, they 
left in his vessel. Captain Ebrill first went to 
Sydney, came back, was on his way to Samoa with 
the teachers, but touched at the Isle of Pines, to 
procure some more sandal- wood. He anchored at 
Uao, some little distance from the residence of the 
chief. The natives went off to the vessel. " Where 
are Mantungu and his sons?" said a person on 


board. " Dead," replied the natives in a joke. 
"Dead, dead! that is good," said the same per- 
son. " Let such chiefs be dead, and let the common 
people live, and help ns to cut sandal- wood." For 
some reason which we cannot ascertain, Captain 
Ebrill and his crew were angry with the old chief, 
and, as a further proof of it, when he sent a present 
of food to the teachers, who he heard were in the 
vessel, it was not allowed to be received on board. 
Those who took it had pieces of wood thrown at 
them, and two musket- shots fired at them. None 
were killed, but one man was wounded in the knee. 
"What can they mean," said Mantungu, "wishing 
me and my sons dead in our own land, and why 
commit such outrages upon my people who went 
with a present ?" Whether he had any intentions 
previously to take a vessel, we know not ; but any 
one who knows the old despot can imagine how 
such treatment would make his savage heart flame 
with revenge. 

Next morning thirty select men were off, deter- 
mined to kill all on board. They took some sandal- 
wood with them to sell ; and, as a further trick, did 
not arm themselves with clubs or axes, but with the 
adzes, which they use in dressing off the bark and 
sap from the wood. They reached the vessel. The 
sandal- wood pleased all on board, was immediately 
bought, and the natives were allowed to go up on 
deck to grind their adzes, on pretence that they 
were going off for more wood. One of the crew 
was turning the handle of the grindstone, a native 


grinding an adze, and the captain close by. Seizing 
a favourable moment, the native swung his adze, 
and hit the captain in the face between the eyes. 
This was instant death to Captain Ebrill, and the 
signal for attack all over the vessel. In a few 
minutes seventeen of the crew were killed, viz., ten 
white men, including the captain, two Marquesans, 
two Mangaians, one Aitutakian, one New Zealander, 
and a Rarotongan teacher. The cook fought despe- 
rately for a while with an axe, and killed one man, 
but was at length overpowered and fell. This 
occurred on the afternoon of 1st of November, 1842. 
A young man named Henry, two Samoan teachers, 
and a native of the New Hebrides, made their 
escape below. Henry loaded muskets and fired up 
the companion, but without effect. It only exaspe- 
rated the natives on deck, who threw down upon 
him lumps of sandal- wood. The teachers then 
collected their property, six red shirts, eight axes, 
etc., called up and offered all for their lives, but 
there was no mercy. Night came on. The natives 
divided. A party went on shore in the boat, and 
the rest remained on deck to guard those below. 

In the morning the natives called down to 
Henry and the Samoans to come up, take the vessel 
further in, and then go on shore, as Mantungu had 
come and declared they were to live. The poor fel- 
lows felt they were entirely in the hands of the 
natives, came up, ran the vessel close in shore, and 
again dropped anchor. They were then taken to 
the shore. A son of Mantungu, with a tomahawk 


in his right hand, met Henry as he stepped out of 
the boat, held out his left hand, with a feigned grin 
of friendship, to shake hands, but the moment he 
got hold of Henry's right hand, the villain up with 
his axe, and laid the poor fellow dead at his feet. 
Others were up and at the remaining three. Len- 
golo, the New Hebrides native, and the Samoan, 
Taniela, were killed at once. Mantungu and a party 
of natives were sitting under the shade of the cocoa- 
nuts, looking on. Lasalo, the other Samoan teacher, 
escaped, streaming with blood, threw himself at the 
feet of the old chief, and begged for life. Mantungu 
was silent for a minute or two, but soon gave the 
wink to a Lifu man. Lasalo was now dragged 
away to be killed, but he sprang from the fellow as 
he lifted his axe, and darted off to the sea. The 
savages were at his heels ; he was hit repeatedly, but 
escaped to the deep water, struck out, and swam off 
to a little island. Four men jumped into a canoe, 
and after him. He climbed a pine-tree, talked for a 
while with them. They assured him Mantungu 
had determined to spare him, and at last he came 
down. It was treachery again. They sprang upon 
him like tigers ; but again he extricated himself, 
rushed to the canoe ; there, however, at length the 
poor fellow was overpowered and fell. 

After the massacre the bodies were divided. 
There were people there from New Caledonia, Mare, 
and Lifu, and each had a share. Then followed the 
plundering of the vessel. Deck, cabins, and fore- 
castle were stripped of everything. They cut down 


the masts to get at the sails and rigging, and then 
set fire to her, without opening the hold. As the 
fire reached the powder, there was a terrific explo- 
sion, but no lives lost. She burned to the water's 
edge, and then sank. 

The accounts lately published in the Sydney- 
papers of the attempt to take the "Caroline," of 
Sydney, at the Isle of Pines, is substantially correct. 
While the body of the crew were on shore, an attack 
was made on the vessel. In the affray, the powder 
magazine blew up, and sent the deck flying, which 
so alarmed the natives, that they all jumped over- 
board, except three who were killed. The crew on 
shore escaped to the vessel, got the fire under, 
weighed anchor, and fled. Had the plot to kill the 
crew on shore been carried out, this vessel would 
have gone to the bottom also, like the " Star." So 
far as we can ascertain, a desire for pluuder was the 
main cause of this attack on the " Caroline." 


Passing from these disasters on the Isle of Pines, 
Noa and Taunga proceeded to give us an account of 
their own difficulties at New Caledonia. The people 
were friendly for awhile ; helped to build a chapel 
and dwelling-house for the teachers. The chief, 
however, seemed inclined to claim the latter as his 
own. From sixty to seventy gave up working on 
the Sabbath, and attended the services. Schools, 
too, were commenced for the children and adults, 


and all going on as well as could be expected, when 
over came a message from Mantungu, of the Isle of 
Pines, saying that they must kill the teachers, and 
give up the worship of God, as he had done. With the 
command, the old man sent an axe, said it had done 
the deed in killing their teachers, and was to be 
used in cutting off Noa and Taunga. The people 
had a meeting, and wept over it. They could not 
kill their teachers; but as they are a conquered 
tribe, and under the feet of the old tyrant, they • 
felt sadly afraid of the consequences of a refusal. 
To please him a number gave up attending to the 
services. But when he heard that his words were 
not carried out to the very letter, his next was a 
threat to " make food" of the whole district. 

The teachers had now to be on their guard. 
Taunga went, on a Sabbath-day, to preach at a 
neighbouring village. Two sons of the chief ac- 
companied him. On the way, the one proposed to 
the other to kill Taunga. He refused ; said he was 
afraid of his father. The other insisted on it ; said 
he would do it. "You go home," said he; "leave 
it with me to lead on Taunga a bit further. I can 
manage it." They conversed in a dialect which they 
thought Taunga did not understand ; but he caught 
it, saw what was in the wind, and as the two sepa- 
rated, he refused to go any further. The murderer 
up with his club; Taunga darted at him, twisted it 
out of his hands, and ordered both the fellows to be 
off home in the road before him. He followed at 
their heels with the club in his hand. 

E E 


On two or three other occasions the lives of 
these good men were in jeopardy, and the accounts 
which they give of their self-possession on these 
trying occasions is heart- stirring and apostolic. 
" Come on," said Taunga one day when they 
were surrounded, and all ready for the slaughter. 
" Come on, kill us ; we are not afraid. Close our 
lips in death, if you please, but remember you will 
not thereby silence the Word of God." 

But their most narrow escape was only a few 
days ago. On the 5th instant, a large party in five 
canoes arrived from the Isle of Pines to kill Noa 
and Taunga. On the following day an armed party, 
headed by Uaise, son of Mantungu's brother, went 
to the teachers' house to do the deed. They found 
Noa outside near some graves, and commenced 
jeering and wrangling with him about the resur- 

" Do you mean to say that the bodies of these 
people will rise ?" said Uaise. 

"Yes; and that they will," replied Noa. 
" Christ will appear in the heavens, a trumpet 
will sound, and the dead will be raised." 

" Nonsense. All a parcel of lies." 

" No lies about it. Wait till the time comes, 
and you will see that it is all true." 

" Lies. Rotten flesh and bones live again ! Who 
would believe such a thing? What liars you Sa- 
moans and Rarotongans are !" 

"No lies. True words of God. And let me 
tell you more : it will be a glorious day that for 


all good people; but those who are wicked when 
they die, will rise in great misery, weeping and wail- 
ing, and calling upon the mountains to fall down 
and cover them up again." 

" Stop, stop ! Don't want to hear any more of 
your tales." 

Taunga was in the house ; overheard what was 
going on ; thought he would try and carry on the 
conversation with the rough-looking fellows, and so 
he called them all to step in and have some conver- 
sation with him about the Word of God. A number 
went in. Taunga commenced on the resurrection, 
respectfully addressing the chief, Uaise ; but before 
he got out half-a-dozen of words, in rushed four 
furious fellows, hatchet in hand, all excited, and 
prepared for instant bloodshed. One seized Noa's 
arm with his left hand, and raised his axe with his 
right. Another did the same to Taunga. Taunga 
was speechless, bowed his head in silent prayer, and 
waited the deadly blow. Noa bowed his head, too, 
but raised his voice in prayer : " Father, if it be 
thy will that we this day fall at the hands of the 
heathen, receive our souls, through Jesus Christ our 
Saviour." The assassins must first have the nod of 
their leader ; they looked and looked. " Sha'n't we 
strike ?" Uaise shook his head. They held on for 
a minute or two, but it was still a shake, and " No," 
and off the four fellows darted out of the house 
ao-ain. The hand which moves the world had 
touched with fear or pity the savage heart of Uaise. 
Taunga and Noa looked up. Hope of life returned. 


" Sit still," said they to Uaise ; " our oven, which 
was covered in an hour ago will now be ready ; 
have a bit of food." In three minutes a tray of 
smoking hot yams was brought in. This was the 
finishing touch. Their hard hearts were melted; 
they partook of the teachers' hospitality, rose, shook 
hands, went back to their quarters, and next morn- 
ing left the islands. 

We feel thankful to God that we have arrived 
here just at this time. A great feast is to be held 
towards the end of the month, at which Mantungu 
and his people are to be present, and as the old man 
still breathes out threatenings and slaughter against 
the teachers, he no doubt looks forward to it as the 
time for another attempt. Our arrival, therefore, 
seems quite providential for the rescue of these good 
men, who have so long hazarded their lives in the 
cause of Christ among these people. The chief here 
is an inactive simpleton, affords no protection, and 
has treated the teachers more as if they were his 
servants than otherwise. Nor do we at present 
know of any other place on the island where they 
are likely to be free from the rage of Mantungu ; it 
is said that he is dreaded all over the island. Noa is 
quite decided ; he wishes to be removed. Taunga is 
willing to do whatever we please ; either to let him 
hold on, or try some other island. Says he wishes 
to live and die in the service of Christ among the 
heathen. On our proposing to remove him to Mare, 
he said he might as well be killed on New Caledonia 
as Marc. But when he heard how kind the Mare 


people had been to our teachers amid all their 
slaughter of white men, he was willing to go. Hap- 
pily the chief Uathotha was on board. We called 
him at once, and told him we were going to remove 
the teachers. " Very well ; just as you think best." 
We were surprised to see how coolly he and the 
others with him took it. We gave him a present, 
promised him another visit, and parted good friends. 
We proposed to take two young men with us to 
Samoa for instruction, and Uathotha has given up a 
young man called Keamu, one of his relatives, and 
another called Kavie, a captive taken in war, who 
has lived at Tuaulu for some time. We have left 
New Caledonia, sorry to give it up even for a time, 
but we have no alternative. We are now standing 
towards Mare. 

At Sea off Mare, Tuesday, IWi May. — Early this 
morning had Mare full in view, but were becalmed. 
After breakfast, Mr. Murray, Captain Morgan, and I 
left the ship in the whale-boat. Had a pull of some 
four miles before we got to the beach. Felt a 
strange sensation as I stepped on to the island 
where so many of our countrymen have of late been 
massacred. But all, at a glance, was perfect friend- 
ship. The women and children were there, and the 
men, though armed, were evidently full of joyous 
excitement to see us land among them without gun 
or sword, either in the boat or in our hands. They 
had heard of " servants of God," " men of peace," 
etc., and now that we were actually among them, 
they looked as if it were a treat. All were orderly 


at the word of old Ieui, cleared a path for us through 
the crowd, and we all walked up to the " great 
house," a round, bee-hive looking building, sixty 
feet in diameter, something like our large Samoan 
houses. All were silent. Mr. Murray and I ad- 
dressed the chiefs and people. Ieui and all were 
delighted with our proposal to leave Taunga. We 
closed our interview with prayer, walked about the 
settlement a little, and then returned to our boat. 
The natives crowded about like bees ; a yam in one 
hand, holding on by the boat with the other, and 
clamorous for fish-hooks. We satisfied the most of 
them. Old Ieui gave the word of command, and 
every man let go. We pushed off, but the old man 
insisted on accompanying us out a bit, and to swim 
back. He seemed to think as little of that as we 
should of walking. But we did not like to take the 
old man far. Held on after pulling a few strokes ; 
gave him some more fish-hooks. He saw we did not 
wish to take him further, stowed them away in his 
mouth, shook hands, tumbled overboard, and, with 
the greatest good-humour, waddled away to the 

As we pulled out to the vessel, sang a verse or 
two of 

" O'er the gloomy hills of darkness," 

and felt grateful to God for having enabled us to 
complete so far the work which we had marked out 
for ourselves in our cruise. A fair wind had sprung 
up, and, as soon as we got on board, headed round 
and shaped our course for Samoa. Have just had a 


special thanksgiving service for God's goodness in 
preserving onr lives, and for having to snch an ex- 
tent given ns favour in the eyes of the heathen, and 
blessed the object of our voyage. 


At Sea, Wednesday, 14th May. — Have not found 
a native name for the entire island ; it is all broken 
up into districts, each having a name. Tuaulu is 
the name of the district where they lived on the 
S.S.E. side of the island. Numea is a district 
two days' journey to the north of that. Kraji 
is the name of a place four days' journey beyond 
that again, where there is a lighter race, speaking 
an Eastern Polynesian dialect. 

At the birth of a child the doorway is the place 
set apart for the occasion, and the friends assemble 
in a circle outside. If a girl she is betrothed forth- 
with to some one present, and, when seven or eight 
years of age, goes to his house, and is taken special 
care of by the family until she is older. If it is a 
boy, there are great shouts and rejoicings. A priest 
cuts the umbilicus on a particular stone from Lifu, 
that the youth may be stone-hearted in battle. The 
priest, too, at the moment of the operation, must 
have a vessel of water before him, dyed black as 
ink, that the boy, when he grows up, may be 
courageous to go anywhere to battle on a pitch- 


dark night, and thus, from his very birth, the 
little fellow is consecrated to war. 

Girls work in plantations. Boys learn to fight. 
Boys fight withboys. The people generally are trained 
to a keen sense of hearing. They listen on the ground, 
and can discern the tread of a party coming to battle, 
when they are yet a long way off. Circumcision is 
practised " when the youth's whiskers reach the hair 
of his head." No whiskers is considered a sign of 
wickedness, a curse from the gods, and the mark of 
an outcast. Chiefs have ten, twenty, and thirty 
wives. The more wives the better plantations, and 
the more food. Common men have one or two. 
No laws of consanguinity are observed in their 
marriages, the n eared relatives unite. If a wife 
misbehaves, the chief does not divorce her, but 
makes her work all the harder. 

Taro, yams, cocoa-nuts, sugar-cane, fish, pigeons, 
bats, rats, and human flesh are the prevailing articles 
of food. No pigs ; few bread-fruits. They cook in 
earthenware pots, manufactured by the women. No 
intoxicating kava, but they drink enormous quan- 
tities of salt-water. They work in the morning till 
eleven a.m. Then rest ; drink cup after cup of salt- 
water until it operates ; cook, and have their daily 
meal. Only one meal a-day. 

They have no clothing. Married women only wear 
a short fringe. Disease-makers burn rubbish as at 
Tanna (see p. 89). They think white men are the 
spirits of the dead, and bring sickness ; and give this 
as a reason why they wish to kill white men. If a 


man among themselves is suspected of witchcraft, 
and supposed to have caused the death of several 
persons, he is formally condemned. A great festival 
is held. He is dressed up with a garland of red 
flowers, arms and legs covered with flowers and 
shells, and his face and body painted black. He 
then comes dashing forward, rushes through among 
them, jumps over the rocks into the sea, and is seen 
no more. 

At death they dress the body with a belt and 
shell armlets. Raise and cut off the finger and toe 
nails whole to preserve as relics. They spread the 
grave with a mat, and bury all the body but the 
head. After ten days, the friends twist off the head, 
extract the teeth as further relics, and preserve the 
skull also. In cases of sickness, and other calamities, 
they present offerings of food to the skulls of the 
departed. The bodies of the common people, as 
well as those of the chiefs, are treated thus. The 
teeth of old women are taken to the yam plantation 
as a charm for a good crop, and their skulls are also 
erected there on poles for the same purpose. They 
set up spears at the head of a chief when they 
bury him, fasten a spear-thrower on to his fore- 
finger, and lay a club on the top of his grave. 

Their villages are not permanent. They migrate 
within certain bounds, as they plant. There are 
fifty or sixty round houses in some villages. They 
had only stone edge-tools until recently. They felled 
their trees by a slow fire close to the ground ; took 
four days to it. Burned off the branches also, and, 


if for a canoe or house-post, the length of log re- 
quired. If for a canoe, they cut a hole in the sur- 
face of the log, kindled a small fire, and burned down 
and along, carefully drop, drop, dropping water all 
around, to confine the fire to a given spot ; and in 
this way they hollowed out their logs for the largest 

The chiefs have absolute power of life and death. 
Priests do not interfere in political affairs. At death 
the chief nominates his successor, if possible, in a 
son or a brother . The law of private revenge allows 
the murder of the thief and the adulterer. In the 
district of Kraji, the guilty parties of adultery are 
tried, dressed up, fed before the multitude, and then 
publicly strangled. A man of the friends of the 
woman takes one end of the cord, and a man of the 
friends of the man takes the other. 

The population is principally along the coast. 
The people think they are more numerous now than 
formerly. They account for it by there being less war 
now than formerly. Still, it is war, war, war, incessant 
war ! They say that formerly they did not stop a fight 
until one party was killed right out to the verge of 
extinction, but that now they are more merciful. 
They fight with clubs, spears, and slings. They 
pick out the good bodies of the slain for the oven, 
and throw the bad away ; they tie up a captive to a 
tree, dig a hole, and kindle a hot stone-oven for his 
body before his very eyes. The women go to battle. 
They keep in the rear, and attend to the commissar ia i ! 
Whenever they see one of the enemy fall, it is their 


business to rush forward, pull the body behind, and 
dress it for the oven. The hands are the choice bits, 
sacred to the priests. The priests go to battle, but 
sit in the distance, fasting and praying for victory. 
They fast for days if they get no hands. If the 
body of a chief is cooked, every one must partake, 
down to the little child, and before a gourmandizer 
proceeds to polish the bones, he calls out, " Have all 
tasted ?" If it is the body of a woman, they eat 
only the arms and legs. On Mare they devour all. 
Sometimes they cook in joints, and sometimes the 
whole body is doubled up in a sitting posture, with 
the knees to the chin, put into the oven, and served 
up so, as they squat around for their meal. Their 
appetite for human flesh is never satisfied. " Do 
you mean to say that you will forbid us the fish of 
the sea ? Why, these are our fish /" This is how 
they talk when you speak against cannibalism. 

Their gods are their ancestors, whose relics they 
keep up and idolize. At Kraji they have wooden 
idols before the chiefs' houses. The office of the 
priest is hereditary. Almost every family has its 
priest. To make sure of favours and prosperity, 
they pray not only to their own gods, but also, in a 
general way, to the gods of other lands. Fishing, 
planting, house-building, and everything of import- 
ance is preceded by prayers to their guardian spirits 
for success. This is especially the case before going 
to battle. They pray to one for the eye, that they 
may see the spear as it flies towards them. To 
another for the ear, that they may hear the approach 


of the enemy. Thus too they pray for the feet, that 
they may be swift in pursuing the enemy; for the 
heart, that they may be courageous ; for the body, 
that it may not be speared ; for the head, that it may 
not be clubbed ; and for sleep, that it may be undis- 
turbed by an attack of the enemy. Prayers over, 
arms ready, and equipped with their relic charms, 
they go off to battle. The summum bonum of a 
New Caledonian is to be praised as a great warrior. 
A coward has neither food nor respect. 

There is a rain-making class of priests. They 
blacken themselves all over, exhume a dead body, 
take the bones to a cave, joint them, and suspend 
the skeleton over some taro leaves. Water is 
poured on the skeleton to run down on the leaves. 
They suppose that the soul of the departed takes up 
the water, makes rain of it, and showers it down 
again. They have to fast and remain in the cavern 
until it rains, and sometimes die in the experiment. 
They generally choose, however, the showery months 
of March and April for their rain-making. If there 
is too much rain, and they want fair weather, they 
go through a similar process, only they kindle a fire 
under the skeleton and burn it up. 

The spirits of the departed are supposed to go 
to the bush. Every fifth month they have a " spirit 
night," or "grand concert of spirits." Heaps of 
food are prepared for the occasion. The people 
assemble in the afternoon, round a certain cave. At 
sundown they have a feast, and that over, one gets 
up and addresses the spirits inside the cave : " You 


spirits within, may it please you to sing a song, 
that all the ladies and gentlemen out here may 
listen to your sweet voices." Then out bursts a 
strange unearthly concert of voices, in which the 
nasal squeak of old men and women is uppermost. 
Those outside listen a while with delight, and praise 
the u sweet voices," and then get up and dance to 
the music. The singing increases with the dance, 
and then follow the other orgies of a night of un- 
bridled liberty, which, drinking excepted, would com- 
pare with some of the worst of the ancient baccha- 
nalia. The " spirits " are the old men and women of 
the place, who slip in unobserved during the day, 
and carry on the hoax upon the children and young 
people, who firmly believe that the spirits of the 
dead really assemble that night in the cave, and 
patronize the sports of the living. 

At Sea, 20th May, long. 178° E., lat. 23° S.— 
Light but fair winds for the last week. All well on 
board. Have classes with the Tannese and New 
Caledonians to teach them Samoan. Mr. Murray is 
writing our united journal of the voyage for the 
Directors, and I am drawing out a paper for our 
Reporter, and a special account of the massacres for 
the Sydney Herald. The friends of the sufferers will 
read with melancholy interest all that we have to re- 
cord, as it will probably be the first and the only 
reliable account which they will have of the sad 

Vavau, Friendly Islands, 29th May. — Have just 


dropped anchor here. Have called to inform our 
Wesleyan brethren that we have removed our teachers 
from Rotumah, and now commit the island entirely 
to their care. We also form a special deputation 
from the Samoan mission relative to some Tongans 
now in Samoa, who profess to be religious teachers, 
and are a great hindrance to the cause of Christ. 

Vavau, Friday, 30th May. — We are now on shore, 
and enjoying the kind hospitality of our missionary 
friends here, Messrs. Turner, Wilson, and Kevern. 
Have had a conference with them relative to the 
objects of our visit. They assure us they will do 
their best for Rotumah, and also do all in their 
power to put an end to the evil of which we com- 
plain in Samoa, as carried on by Tonga men calling 
themselves Wesley ans. 

4th June. — Under weigh again, and now leaving 
Vavau. Have spent a few happy days with our 
brethren here. We are now off with a fair wind for 

Apia, Upolu, Saturday, 7th June. — Anchored here 
this morning. Goodness and mercy have followed 
us since we set out, and to the God of missions be 
all the praise ! A meeting of our brother mission- 
aries is summoned to hear an account of the voyage, 
and to deliberate on future movements. " God be 
merciful unto us and bless us, and cause his face to 
shine upon us, that thy way may be known upon 
earth, thy saving health among all nations." 




After an interval of three years, I was again called 
to buckle on, and take a voyage among the heathen 
islands of the New Hebrides and New Caledonia 
groups. In addition to the location of native 
teachers, there was, on this occasion, the doubly 
responsible work of selecting a field for the infant 
mission of the United Secession Church of Nova 
Scotia, whose agents, the Rev. John Geddie and Mr. 
I. Archibald, a lay assistant, had come out with 
instructions to commence a mission, if practicable, 
on New Caledonia ; but to be guided principally by 
us, in their final decision as to a sphere of labour. 

At a general meeting of our Samoan mission 
committee, on the return of the " John Williams," on 
her second voyage from England, it was arranged 
that the Rev. T. Powell form a third, with the 
Nova Scotia brethren, in founding the new mission ; 
that, owing to the unsettled state of New Caledonia, 
the mission be commenced in the New Hebrides, and, 
if possible, on the island of Vate ; that the Rev. H. 
Nisbet accompany the party, and help them for 
twelve months; and also that I should aid in the 
selection of the new field, and other preliminaries ; go 
the round of the islands to be visited in the voyage, 


and return (d.v.) with a report of the whole. A full 
account of this voyage would fill a volume, but I 
proceed as before, to give some condensed jottings 
from my journal, leaving it with the reader to draw 
his own inferences, and make his own reflections. 

On Board the "John Williams " Apia, Upolu, Mon- 
day, 3rd July, 1848. — Once more on board the 
barque for a missionary cruise. Parted early tins 
morning with my dear wife and children. Feel con- 
cerned for their safety, owing to the late fight- 
ing and the continued hostile state of Samoan 
affairs. But the call of duty is urgent to go on 
with the voyage, and God will, I doubt not, take 
care of all I leave behind. Have just had a farewell 
meeting with the friends on shore, and we are 
about to weigh anchor. 

Matautu Savaii, Tuesday, 4/// July. — Have called 
here, as usual, before leaving the group. Mr. Pratt 
has two teachers to add to our party, a couple of 
servants for Mr. and Mrs. Geddie, and his people are 
ready with a present of six pigs and three hundred 
yams for the vessel. Our company is complete, and 
now we take our final departure. We have on 
board Mr. and Mrs. Geddie and child ; Mr. and Mrs. 
Archibald and child ; Mr. and Mrs. Powell and two 
children ; three Rarotongans ; seven Samoans ; six 
native women, the wives of the teachers ; and seven 
native children. We have also with us the native 
Keamu, of New Caledonia, Umra, of Aneiteum, 
and Ioane, a Savage Islander, all of whom we have 


had with us in Samoa for a time, and who, Ave 
trust, will be of much use to us, first as inter- 
preters, and subsequently when they land among 
their own people. The parting of the natives with 
their friends a little ago brought the tears into my 
eyes. Some of the aged parents waded into the 
sea up to the waist, sobbing and crying, as our boat 
moved away, and there they still stood in the deep 
water, catching the last glance of those they love. 
We leave immediately, sixty of us in all, including 
the ship's company. 

At Sea, 12th July. — Have had fine weather, and 
a good run since leaving Samoa. We are close upon 
the New Hebrides. Hope to anchor at Aneiteum 
to-morrow, and have just had a special prayer- 
meeting to implore God's help and blessing in the 
commencement of our work on the coming day. 

Aneiteum, New Hebrides, Friday, 14th July. — 
Reached this island yesterday, and have come to 
anchor in the large harbour, which we first visited 
in the boat in 1845. Glad to see our teachers, 
Simeone and Pita, on board soon after the anchor 
was down. Soon saw the chief Kohuat, also, but he 
is still a heathen. He let the teachers have a piece 
of land on which to build their house, but gave no 
help ; they persevered, however, and have finished 
their little plastered cottage of three rooms. He 
gave them land, also, on which to plant, but their 
taro disappeared as soon as it was ripe. A few at- 
tend the Sabbath services, but the mass of the people 
still adhere to their heathenism, and are obstinate in 

F F 


strangling the widows. A commencement was made 
some years ago to bury the dead, instead of throw- 
ing them into the sea ; but the teachers found out 
that a notion was spreading that all who were buried 
went to heaven, and all who were cast into the sea 
went to hell, and therefore gave up saying much 
about it, that the people may understand it is a 
matter of no moment, as regards his eternal in- 
terests, where the body of a man is disposed of after 
death. A man died lately who regularly attended 
the services, and of whom the teachers have some 
hope. After his death they succeeded in saving his 
widow from being strangled. They had all but a 
fight over it, as her brother insisted on carrying out 
the old custom. I saw this woman in the teachers' 
house this afternoon. War broke out some months 
ago ; seven were killed. They are at peace again, 
but there is still bad feeling between this and the 
other side of the island, and the station there has 
been broken up. The number of white men is in- 
creasing. Several Roman Catholic priests have also 
come, and appear to be making this a principal 
station. They have erected a large iron house on 
the opposite side of the bay from where the teachers 
are. There are eight priests and eight lay brethren, 
we are told. 

In the event of our not finding things at Vate as 
we could wish, this seems to be the place for com- 
mencing the Nova Scotia mission. Called on No- 
huat this afternoon, to return his visit and say good- 
bye. He promises to behave better to the teachers 


for the future, and asked me to bring him some 
tobacco next time. " I never carry tobacco," was 
my reply. " I believe it to be a bad thing, and could 
not think of bringing you what I believe would do 
you harm." He was pleased to hear that we intend 
trying to locate the teachers among the unfriendly 
tribes on the other side of the island. 

Having decided to reoccupy the old station on 
the other side, we have sent on Simeone and other 
two Samoans, together with the Aneiteum native 
Umra, to go overland to consult with the chief, and, 
if all is favourable, to hoist a white flag on the beach 
in the morning, as a signal for us, in passing in the 
ship, to lower the boat and take on shore the teach- 
ers ; if things look unfavourable, they are to come 
off in a canoe to the vessel, and let us know. 

At Sea off Aneiteum, Saturday Evening, 16th July. 
— Weighed anchor by daylight, and ran out with a 
strong wind. Wet, squally morning, but it cleared 
off in an hour or two. About ten o'clock the wind 
got more ahead. To expedite our business, we 
lowered the boat, and Captain Morgan, Mr. Ms- 
bet, and I left the ship with the teachers, to pull 
ahead round to Aname. After pulling half an hour 
we met two natives fishing. Recognized in one of 
them an old face we had seen at Tanna. He was 
delighted to see us. We said a few words, gave him 
some fish-hooks, and passed on. After a time, got 
round to the place, saw something white in the dis- 
tance. Looked through the glass. " A long pole 
and a white shirt flying ! All right ; that is our 


flag." Pulled on, and soon had Simeone alongside 
of our boat. Report all favourable. He said the 
friends of Umra were delighted to see him back. 
His accounts of Samoa, the missionaries, religious 
worship, the love of Christ in coming to die for 
sinners, the glories of heaven, and the miseries of 
hell, all greatly astonished them. They killed two 
pigs to receive him and our messengers, said they 
were glad at the prospect of getting teachers again, 
and were all ready to give us a cordial reception. 

We went on shore, and left the men in charge of 
the boat. It was proposed that we should meet the 
chiefs and people at their headquarters, about a 
mile inland. As the women and children were all 
about, and every appearance of friendship, we did 
not hesitate, but went on. We met with some sixty 
natives altogether. Through Simeone, as our in- 
terpreter, we told them of our object in coming on 
shore ; that although we were now met on the 
ground of the chief Ieta, that the teachers we were 
about to leave were for all that side of the island, 
and implored. them to attend to the Word of God 
and the way of salvation. The chief Ieta replied : — 
" Come," said he, " let us all have something to 
say in this affair. Let us cast off heathenism, and 
attend to this true religion, lest we all go to that 
fire Umra was telling us about last night." All 
spoke favourably. We then named some minor 
matters, a house for the teachers, etc. " A house ! 
We shall send off directly to cut wood for a house," 
said Ieta, " and for the present my house is theirs." 


They said "Yes" to everything, and really seemed 
sincere about it. We added a few words on the 
great object of our mission, viz., that they may 
know God, and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent to 
save our souls from hell, and concluded our delibe- 
rations with prayer. 

As we were about to leave, three or four men came 
trotting out of the bush, streaming with perspira- 
tion, and laden with a heavy stick or two on their 
shoulders. They threw them down close by us with 
a shout, and looked up as pleased as if they had 
done us some favour. "What are these for ?" I in- 
quired. " Wood for the teachers' house !" I thought 
the directly of Ieta meant Monday or Tuesday, but, 
with the word, he had given the wink for some of 
his people to be off with their axes forthwith. This 
was all gratifying. We went back to the boat, had 
the teachers' boxes put on shore, and have left the 
young men with every prospect of success. Their 
names are Opetaia and Palepo, and are from the 
Hervey Islands. We have brought with us a smart 
youth of the name of Kaipul, to take to Samoa for 
instruction. He is related to Umra. As we reached 
the boat we found that another native had seated 
himself, all ready to go with us to Samoa also. His 
only covering was an old satin waistcoat, which 
he appeared to think fully entitled him to a place 
among good company. We did not fancy the looks 
of the fellow, and declined, but he was quite stub- 
born about it. After a little coaxing, however, we 
got him quietly walked over the side. We pushed 


off amid the farewells and waving of hands of all on 
the beach. Up sail, with a fair wind, and were soon 
ontside the reef, and off to meet the ship. Got 
safely on board. All were delighted to hear onr 
tale, and united with ns in thanking God for his 
goodness to us throughout the day. We are now 
standing for Tanna. 


Port Resolution, Tanna, Monday Evening, 17 th 
July. — Anchored here yesterday. Poor Tanna ! 
Clouds and sunshine — sunshine and clouds. Our 
fair prospects in 1845 were blasted in 1846 by the 
murder of one of the teachers, and the burning of 
the mission premises, all owing to the belief that 
the teachers and the new religion cause disease. 
There has been war again among all the tribes round 
the bay, and, for three months, the teachers on the 
one side have not felt it safe to visit the people on 
the other. Our old friend Lahi got an arrow wound 
in a battle fought close by where our house stood. 
It proved fatal. He died, like too many in more 
favoured lands, mourning over his sins, and that he 
had not lived as we had often taught him. The 
chief, Viavia, and some others wished to fight with 
the chief who burned our house. Kuanuan forbad. 
"Never mind," said he; "although the house is 
gone, we have still the religion in our hearts, and 
can still pray to the true God." We have left an- 
other Rarotongan teacher with the two on the 


mountain of Enekahi, on the west side of the bay, 
and they will embrace the first opportunity of reoc- 
cupying some part on the east side. A large boat 
from the sandal-wood settlement at Aneiteum was 
lately taken, and her crew of three white men killed 
at Nakosmene, a few miles to the west of the har- 
bour where we are now at anchor. Cannot find out 
the real cause. Soon after a vessel followed, to 
avenge the death of the white men. The natives 
foolishly mustered on the beach to fight with the 
vessel. She opened fire on them. Six were shot 
dead, and the rest ran off into the bush. 

Tried to get out this afternoon. Wind failed, 
and had again to "let go " the anchor. Just at this 
time a schooner came in. They did not show colours, 
but we saw a large crew of white men, besides na- 
tives ; five swivels mounted ; smelt sandal-wood, and 
concluded what she was. After tea, we were on the 
eve of going on board to see what information we 
could pick up, when the mate of the schooner came 
to visit us. They have been sandal-wooding at 
Eromanga. Lost a man off the jibboom in June 
last, named Henry Johnson, of Londonderry. Had 
a boat taken by the Eromangans, fifteen miles to the 
south of Dillon's Bay. They were out in deep water, 
but the natives upset the boat. One of the crew 
clung to the keel, and was killed directly : his name 
was William Thorington, of Chatham. The rest 
swam out to sea towards the vessel. They had a 
current in their favour, and, as the natives were 
busy picking up the contents of the boat, they 


escaped. One of them was four hours in the water, 
and has been insensible ever since. Another, who 
had a blow on the head from a tomahawk, is also 
out of his mind. The mate of this schooner tells 
sad tales of his brethren in the sandal- wood trade. 
He names a vessel now in the group, and says they 
fire upon every tribe that will not let them have the 
wood. He says they take natives from one place to 
another, and sell them for wood. Over and over 
again he assured us that he and his party never do 
any such tricks ; but at the same moment his own 
boat's crew were telling our men on deck tales, which, 
if true, made them out to be as bad as any in the 
trade. They say they get a chief on board, and 
keep him until they get boat-loads of wood for his 
rescue. After getting the wood they take away 
the poor man still, and sell him for more wood at 
another place, there to be a slave, or, more likely, 
a roast for the next meal. At this place they 
will pick up some other person, and off with 
him again. If they take some Tanna men in 
this way to Eromanga, they will return to Tanna 
and say, " Oh, they were killed at Eromanga." 
And at Eromanga they will say the same of any 
Eromangans who have been left here. Dogs and cats, 
also, it appears, are in great demand at Eromanga. 
A dishonest trader will show a cat ; a boat-load of 
sandal- wood is brought for it ; he tells them to bring 
more, they bring more ; and, after all, he keeps the cat, 
and sails off laughing with the wood. In retaliation 
for injuries, if accounts are true, some of these white 


men are as barbarous as the natives. It is reported 
that this very party now at anchor took a chief of 
Cook's Bay lately, first mangled his body on board, 
then threw him into the sea, and shot at him as at 
a target. This is a horrid trade. Every year dis- 
closes more and more of its atrocities. And yet how 
marked the judgments of God on those who pro- 
secute it ? Dating from a sandal- wood expedition 
which was at Eromanga not long before Mr. 
Williams was killed, up to the present time, I can 
reckon no fewer than three hundred and twenty -two 
souls who have perished in the traffic. 

Port Resolution, Tanna, Tuesday Evening, 18th 
July. — Wind this morning right in. Blew so hard 
in the night, that the captain let go another anchor. 
Had a visit from the chief Yiavia after breakfast. 
He wished me to let him have some medicines to 
lay by for himself and family. I gave him some. 
He begged also that plenty should be left with 
the teachers. Their faith in medicine is rising, and 
as that rises, down goes the craft of the disease- 
makers. Just as Yiavia was leaving the ship, I 
heard a native say something to him about " kill- 
ing," and presently it came out that an Eromangan 
from the sandal- wooder alongside of us was killed 
on shore to-day. The mate has just been on board 
of us again. We asked him about it. He ex- 
pressed surprise, denied that the man went on shore 
in the ship's boat. Says he ran off without their 
leave in a canoe. So many of the Tannese have 
been killed at Eromanga, that an Eromangan cannot 


expect to live five minutes after landing anywhere 
on this beach. This mate himself admits this, says 
he has seen them with his own eyes massacred on 
shore directly after landing. The wonder then is, 
how that poor man was taken on shore to-day. We 
can hardly imagine his going of his own accord. 
We hear that the party on board this schooner have 
bought upwards of twenty cats and a dog on the 
beach to-day, and cannot divest our minds of the 
dark suspicion that that poor fellow went as part 
payment. That the Tannese are capable of such a 
thing, we have no doubt, and but for the tales of 
these sandal-ivooders themselves, the thought would 
never have entered into our heads, that white men 
could be suspected, even, of such inhuman bar- 

* I have been at a loss sometimes to know how sensible-look- 
ing men can reason, who are guilty of such atrocities as those 
which we have had occasion too frequently to report ; but the 
secret came out one day when I was in conversation with one of 
them about his sad doings at Eromanga and Vate. " Mr. Turner, 
seriously, you do not mean to say that these Eromangans are 
men?" " Not men ! and what do you suppose they are ? Non- 
sense ! Don't you know that our own forefathers were just such 
naked, painted savages as these ? Did you ever see a pig that 
could build a house, or cultivate and fence such lovely plantations 
as you saw there ?" " Well, well, we paid them out at Eromanga, 
at any rate, for killing Mr. Williams, and that we did." 

We had occasion, some years ago, to expose the doings of this 
man, in company with other two, which led him to bluster 
about Sydney streets, threatening prosecution. At the time re- 
ferred to, we recorded the following sentence : " They who com- 
manded the expedition, and are responsible for such barbarous 
wickedness, may attempt to conceal or deny these crimes, with a 



At Sea, Wednesday Evening, 19 th July. — Had a 
fine southerly wind this morning, and were glad to 
part company with the schooner alongside of ns. 
Stood across to the little island of Nina, and were 
soon close in upon it. Lowered the boat, and Cap- 
tain Morgan, Mr. Msbet, Mr. Powell, and I left for 
the shore. A heavy surf on, but we got the natives 
to come out to us. Glad to see our old friend Fa- 
ngota again. He grieves over the war which caused 
the teachers to leave, who were placed there three 
years ago. Poor fellow ! he has forgotten the Sab- 
bath. Asked when it was. Says, however, that he 
prays to God, and tries to remember what we told 
him about Jesus. We are sorry that we have no 
teachers for them this voyage ; but are glad to see 
that the door is still open, and that we have some 
warm friends on shore. Fangota's special request 
is, that we send back the teacher Iona, and one or 
two others with him. 


We are now off Eromanga. The wind does not 
admit of our running through the straits, so we are 
standing off to go east of the island. We were told 

view to escape the withering frown of the wise and the good, but 
the still more withering blast of the Divine displeasure will at 
length overtake them." It did not need a prophet to say that. 
The one soon after died at sea, the other died a drunkard. And 
the last accounts I heard of the third was, that he was a prisoner 
for life in the United States. 


at Aneiteum, and also at Tanna, that the " Elizabeth," 
a sandal- wooding barque, went on shore in a gale in 
February last, in Dillon's Bay. It is supposed that 
all were drowned except two. They reached the 
shore, but were killed directly. The Eromangans 
are constantly fighting with the sandal-wooders. 
They have now a daring scheme of getting under the 
boat and upsetting it. They go off swimming with 
one arm, a tomahawk under the other, and a log of 
sandal- wood as a bait. While the log is being hauled 
into the boat, they dive under the keel, tip it over, 
and then at the white men with their tomahawks. 
The guns of the ship are then loaded, some natives 
shot, and thus goes on the perpetual war. What can 
be done to check the evil ? It is increasing every 
year, and hindering our missionary labours beyond 
description.* If we are beating in the morning, and 
can run into Dillon's Bay without much delay, we 
intend to do so. As we have so many on board, we 
are anxious, with as little delay as possible, to proceed 
to Vate, to make the necessary arrangements there, 

* We exposed to the world the doings of these sandal- 
wooders for several years. Bishop Selwyn, of New Zealand, 
followed and did the same. Captain Erskine and other naval 
officers took np the case with great energy, and subsequently 
all the colonial traders to these islands were led to understand 
that they should have to answer for every criminal information 
filed against them in their intercourse with the South Sea 
Islanders. Then followed the trial at Sydney of Captain Lewis, 
for shooting three natives of Mare; and again of Captain Koss, 
for the murder of a Lifu native. The consequence is, that for 
several years back, we rarely hear of any of the atrocities which 
characterized the trade ten and fifteen years ago. 


if possible, for the commencement of the new mis- 
sion. We have just had a special prayer-meeting, in 
anticipation of our approach to Yate, and may we 
have the divine presence which we have sought in all 
our deliberations connected with this the main object 
of the present voyage ! Mr. Geddie conducted the 


At Sea, S.W. Side of Yate, 20th July.— Strong 
wind all night, and this morning found ourselves far 
on towards Vate. Were up to the principal station 
late in the afternoon. The teachers recognized us, 
started in their canoes, and we had them all on board 
before sunset. It was too late to get to anchor, and 
we are now standing off for the night. The brethren 
Gill and Msbet, on their visit here two years ago, 
were much cheered, and increased the number of 
teachers to nine. But now the sky is clouded, and 
we shall have to record reverses. Death, in various 
forms, has thinned the number to five. Two of the 
women are also dead. I must defer, however, a 
minute entry until we get to anchor, as the teachers, 
fresh from the shore, are sea- sick, and laid down. 

At Anchor, off Tango, Yate, 2\st July. — Anchored 
here this morning. Arranged to have no natives 
on board, but a few of the chiefs, and proceeded to 
hear the reports of the teachers. The two stations, 
Pango and Erakor, are still occupied, and with 
fluctuating success. No marked case of true con- 
version to God. The chiefs at these places are 


friendly, but their influence does not prevent serious 
annoyance occasionally. Taavili, the teacher at 
Pango, for example, had his house set on fire lately, 
because his wife would not yield to the wicked pro- 
posals of a neighbouring chief. The wife of Setefano 
died of dropsy ; the teacher Lealamanua caught 
cold, and was injured by a falling tree in a gale in 
February last, from which he never recovered. He 
died entreating the chiefs and people around him 
to receive Christ into their hearts, and exhorting 
his fellow-teachers to love one another, and be 
faithful unto death. The teacher Taili, who was 
stationed at Mele, died of ague last year. The 
chief of the place claimed his property, and his 
wife, too. Poor woman ! this was more than she 
could bear. Preferring death to degradation, she 
rushed into the sea and was drowned, before the 
other teachers had time to unite in an effort to get 
her removed from the station. Sipi and Ratai were 
stationed at Fila. Ratai took ill, and died suddenly 
in May last year. This was followed by the illness 
of Sipi. It is a long story, but the substance of it 
is, that poor Sipi was killed by the people of Fila, 
with a view to get his property, we think, as the 
people of Mele got that of Taili. The only modify- 
ing clause in the affecting tale is, that Sipi, in his 
illness, was occasionally delirious, and it is the 
custom here to put the patient to death when 
delirium appears, lest it should spread to the other 
members of the family. 

But the abandonment of another of the stations 


on the south-west side of the island, viz., Eratap, 
is associated with events more calamitous still. 
Mose and Sepania, teachers from Samoa, were sta- 
tioned here. One Friday afternoon, towards the end 
of April, 1847, a boat reached a bay close by where 
the teachers were. Two white men were in it, and 
starving for want of food. The natives resolved on 
killing them, desirous of getting their bodies, their 
clothes, and their boat. Mose was the means of 
saving one of them, a man named John Jones. 
The other, a stout man, was taken by a person, 
saying he would save him ; but he was killed and 
cooked next morning. This was a boat belonging 
to the " British Sovereign," a sandal- wooding 
barque, which had gone ashore some nights before 
on the east side of the island, and became a wreck. 
The captain and the rest of the crew, having escaped 
from the wreck, arrived at the same place on the 
following Sabbath, on their way to the large harbour 
on the south-west side of the island. Whenever the 
natives saw them they determined to kill them. 
Some treated them with cocoa-nuts and sugar-cane, 
while others went off to muster the district for their 
massacre. Our teachers saw the people arming and 
running off ; they said they were going to fight with 
a neighbouring tribe; but the plot came out, and 
then our teacher and the man Jones were all 
anxiety to be off to the spot to save life. The chief 
stood up, and would not allow them ; and it was only 
a conviction that it would be their death to go, that 
kept them back. The tribes at hand were assem- 


bled, all was arranged, and the natives, in company 
with the foreigners, got np to advance along the 
road. They walked single file, a native between 
every white man, and a few on either side. The 
chief took the lead, and gave the signal, when every 
one wheeled round and struck his man. A few 
Tanna men escaped to the sea, but were pursued 
and killed, with the exception of one, who fled to 
the bush. This native and a 'little boy, together 
with the man Jones, were all who escaped the mas- 
sacre, and are now off in a vessel. Ten bodies of 
the unhappy sufferers were cooked on the spot ; the 
teachers mention adjacent villages among which 
other ten were distributed ; they are not sure what 
became of the rest, nor the exact number massacred. 
In most cases the white men are the aggressors. In 
this most cold-blooded affair, however, we cannot 
learn any object on the part of the natives, but a 
desire to obtain human flesh and the clothes of these 
unfortunate men. 

A few days after, another boat touched at the 
same place, which we suppose was the long-boat 
either of the "Elizabeth" or the "British Sove- 
reign," in search of survivors. All on shore were 
in arms again, bent upon killing the four or five 
white men who were in this boat ; and when they 
went off towards it, the men fired upon them. The 
chiefs were enraged at the firing, and determined 
to be avenged on the teachers and Jones, who was 
still a refugee with them. A woman, hearing of 
the plot, ran and informed the teachers. Jones 


and they had scarcely reached the bush, fleeing for 
their lives, when the party arrived at their house to 
kill them. They were pursued to another station 
whither they fled ; but, after remonstrance, and in 
consideration of getting all the property of the 
teachers, there was no further bloodshed. Before 
leaving the island, Jones left the following docu- 
ment with the teacher Mose, through whose exer- 
tions, under God, he was saved. These self-denying 
teachers are too often calumniated by our country- 
men, whose projects their work and duty call them 
to oppose ; but, after all, they are often forced to 
change their tone, and give vent to their feelings in 
such grateful terms as the following, the original of 
which I have now in my possession : — 

" Sch. Hand, May 16th, 1847. 
" This is to certify that Mose and his partner 
left the tap (Eratap) on the 16th of May we had to 
run for our life to get clear of them left everything 
behind when the British Soverien his long boat came 
and fire at them J Jones was the only one that was 
saved out of the crew they killed them all through 
Mose I was saved and I beg of you to give him 
something he is a good man he venture more than 
any man would think and after all had run I hope 
the Lord will pay him for his trouble with me 
(Signed) " John Jones." 

But there is a bright side of the picture. The 
teachers keep up Sabbath services, have several 
preaching stations, schools during the week, and 



are able to visit distant parts of the island. They 
have, in several instances, prevented infanticide. In 
one case the child was actually buried, and the fire 
kindled over the grave to smother the little fellow, 
but his parents dug him up again at the remonstrance 
of the teachers, and he is still alive. The custom, 
also, of burying alive the aged was prevented in 
three instances, and the poor old women allowed to 
die a natural death. It is considered a disgrace to 
the family of an aged chief if he is not buried alive. 
When an old man feels sick and infirm, and thinks 
he is dying, he deliberately tells his children and 
friends to get all ready, and bury him. They yield 
to his wishes, dig a round deep pit, wind a number 
of fine mats round his body, and lower down the 
poor old heathen into his grave in a sitting posture. 
Live pigs are then brought, and tied, each with a 
separate cord, the one end of the cord to the pig, and 
the other end to the arm of the old man. The cords 
are cut in the middle, leaving the one half hanging 
at the arm of the old man, and off the pigs are 
taken to be killed and baked for the burial feast ; 
the old man, however, is supposed still to take the 
pigs with him to the world of spirits. The greater 
the chief the more numerous the pigs, and the more 
numerous the pigs the better the reception in their 
hades of heathenism. The poor old man thus wound 
up, furnished with his pig strings, and covered over 
with some more mats, is all ready. His grave is 
then filled up, and his dying groans are drowned 
amid the weeping and the wailing of the living. 


This revolting custom of burying alive is, as I 
have already noted, not confined to infants and the 
aged. If a person in sickness shows signs of deli- 
rium, his grave is dug, and he is buried forthwith, 
to prevent the disease spreading to other members 
of the family. A young man in the prime of life 
was thus buried lately. He burst up the grave and 
escaped. He was caught, and forced into the grave 
again. A second time he struggled to the surface ; 
and then they led him to the bush, lashed him fast 
to a tree, and left him there to die. " The dark 
places of the earth are full of the habitations of 

After hearing the reports of the teachers, we 
proceeded to deliberate on the course to pursue. 
Sensible of the great importance of the subject, we 
first bowed the knee and united in special prayer 
for G-od's guidance, and I trust we have had it in 
the following conclusions, on which we are about 
to act : — • 

1. To occupy still, with native teachers, the two 
stations of Pango and Erakor. 

2. Proceed to the large harbour of Sema, and 
endeavour to locate three teachers there, with a 
view to the occupation of that place by missionaries 
next voyage, should all go on well in the interim ; 
and, if possible, then occupy simultaneously some 
parts of the large harbour, and either Pango or 

3. That the brethren, Geddie, Powell, and Archi- 
bald, return, for a time at least, to Aneiteum, and 


take up their position there. That island is im- 
portant, not only in itself, but relatively to the other 
parts of the group, as forming a good post of obser- 
vation, and affording facilities for extending a super- 
intending care over the native agents. There, too, 
the wives of missionaries and their property could 
be left, when commencing operations at places such 
as this, where, for a time at least, it would not be 
prudent to take either. 

At Sea, off Vate, Saturday Evening, 22nd July. — 
Arranged for two teachers to be at each of the sta- 
tions, and to take Mose with us as interpreter, and 
to aid in the formation of a new station at the 
large harbour. Gave them their supplies, and by 
mid -day were all ready for sea again. We were de- 
tained for an hour or two, waiting for the return of 
one of the boats, which went to fetch the widow and 
child of one of the teachers who died, to take them 
with us to Samoa. Just at this time we observed 
that the natives were coming off in unusual numbers 
— counted upwards of two hundred men alongside 
— all armed with their clubs, spears, poisoned 
arrows, and long-handled axes, and more coming off 
in their canoes. We kept a sharp look-out, only 
let the chiefs on board, and Captain Morgan gave 
orders to make all haste to loose the sails and weigh 
anchor. We had a breeze ; soon left the suspected 
natives and their canoes astern of us, and sailed out 
and in until we had finished our business. We 
assembled the chiefs of Pango and Erakor on the 
quarter-deck, committed the teachers afresh to their 


care, and implored them to abandon heathenism and 
embrace the gospel. We alluded to the late massa- 
cres ; told them what they might expect from foreign 
vessels for snch conduct, and, moreover, of the 
judgments of the Almighty. We expressed regret 
for the way in which the teachers had been treated 
at Mele, Eratap, and Fila, and said we hoped there 
would be no more of it. Spoke particularly to the 
Pango chief about the burning of Taavili's house, 
and the ill-treatment of his wife. They acknow- 
ledged the justness of all we said, expressed sorrow 
for the past, and assured us all would be different 
for the future. We gave them a small present, and 

I was astonished to find one of the chiefs of Fila 
among them. I took him aside, and talked to him 
privately about the murder of Sipi. He denied it 
flat ! Said he died of disease, and begged for 
another teacher. I told him what we thought of 
their conduct, and said that, for the present, they 
must be content with an occasional visit from the 
Pango teachers. I said that we have great regard 
for them, notwithstanding all they have done, and 
may give them a teacher some other day, if they 
are kind and attentive for the future to the teachers 
who visit them. By way of rendering good for evil, 
we gave him a small present too, expressive of our 
regard for him and his brother chiefs. 

Fila is a place of considerable political im- 
portance. After bidding all farewell, and seeing 
them safe in their canoes, we bore away for the 


north- west harbour. We are now standing off for 
the night. We have our old friend " Swallow" 
(Sualo) with us to help us in interpreting at the 
place to which we are going. He is greatly altered 
for the better in his appearance since I first met 
with him three years ago. He has lost his excited, 
savage looks, is well reported of by the teachers, and 
will, we trust, go on to improve, give evidence of 
true conversion, and be as active in the service of 
Christ as he formerly was in the service of Satan. 

Off Sema, Monday, 23rd July. — Stood in yester- 
day morning, but as we had to beat up to this place 
we did not reach it till the afternoon. For extent, 
safety, and beauty of scenery, this is the finest har- 
bour I have seen or heard of in the Pacific. We 
were surprised to find all perfectly still after we cast 
anchor, not a native or canoe to be seen. By and by 
a canoe came from another part of the bay, from 
which we learned that war is now going on between 
Sema and Utaone ; that the former is now driven, 
part of their settlement burned, and that it is unde- 
cided which party has the upper hand, To-day we 
have succeeded in getting some of the chiefs, and 
have arranged for the location of Mose and another 
Samoan at Utaone. We are now under weigh again, 
and intend locating other two teachers down at the 
entrance to the harbour. 

At Sea, off Vate, Tuesday Evening, 24th July. — 
Last night we were in great danger. Just as we 
cleared the heads the wind died away. It came on 
dark, and there we were; no soundings, no wind, 


and the current drifting us on to the rocks. Ever}^ 
thing was ready, and the captain was about to order 
all hands to the boats, with the tow-line, when up 
sprang a gentle breath of air. It was only a breath, 
but it filled our sails, she obeyed her helm, and we 
were again, thank God, out of danger. We stood 
off for the night. Ran in again this morning ; and, 
about ten o'clock, Mr. Msbet, Captain Morgan, and 
I left the ship in the boat, to try and get the chief 
who wished teachers, and at whose settlement we 
intended to locate the two. It was low water at the 
landing-place, and no possibility of getting near, but 
there were a number of canoes outside the reef, and 
in one of them we found the brother of the very man 
we wanted. He said his brother was away at their 
plantations ; but, as we were assured that it was 
much the same which of the brothers we got, we 
pulled off to the ship with this one. He entered 
joyfully into our proposal, and we arranged at once 
for locating here the two teachers. Sualo will re- 
main with them for a time, help them with the lan- 
guage, and then return to Erakor. Mr. Powell and 
Mr. Geddie went in the boat which took the chief 
and teachers ashore, and all were well received. 
May the Lord smile on this fresh advance on the 
territories of Satan, and make this lovely harbour a 
chosen spot in the vineyard of Christ Jesus ! We 
are now off for Mare of the Loyalty Islands. 

At Sea, Wednesday, 26th July. — Foul wind, close 
hauled, pitching sadly, sea- sick, and making the best 
of our way to Mare. 


At Sea, Thursday, 26th. — Wind still ahead. 
Better to-day. 

Friday, 27th. — About two a.m. the wind shifted 
a few points, and was in favour of our fetching 
Aneiteum sooner than Mare. We therefore decided 
to alter the course, and are now making for 

At Anchor, Aneiteum, 28th July. — Anchored here 
to-day. Went on shore, saw the teachers, the chief 
Nohuat, and several of the people. All were delighted 
to see us back, and to learn that some of our number 
were about to take up their abode on shore. Arranged 
for services to-morrow in English, Samoan, and 
Aneiteumese, and have just closed the day, and the 
week, with our Saturday evening prayer-meeting. 

Aneit&um, Monday, 30th July. — We had six re- 
ligious services in the course of the day yesterday, 
in three languages. Had some fifty of the natives 
at the services on shore. The captain of a vessel at 
anchor, and some other Europeans from "the shore, 
attended our services on board. In conversation 

with Captain , after the morning service, he 

expressed his displeasure at the way in which we 
speak of sandal-wooders in our missionary reports. 
He alluded particularly to a letter written a few years 
ago, by Mr. Buzacott, I think, in which they were 
called "white barbarians." I admitted that, so far 
as I had heard,* he had hitherto carried on the trade 

* It came out afterwards that this man was about as bad as 
any of them. He was subsequently tried at Sydney for shoot- 
ing some natives at Mare, of the Loyalty Islands. 


honestly and peaceably, and that some others did 
the same ; but, at the same time, I defended the 
accuracy of the reports which we have given of the 
doings of others in the trade. I told him that we must 
report such things. We are here for the very purpose 
of doing all the good we can to these poor natives, 
and are hindered beyond description, and our lives 
in constant jeopardy, owing to the misdeeds of our 
countrymen, and why should we not speak out ? 
On what principle of law, justice, or humanity, are 
men to be allowed to go about these islands and 
perpetrate atrocities which would cause them to be 
imprisoned, tried, and hanged in any civilized part of 

the world ? I instanced the expedition of S , 

D •, and H at Yate, a few years ago, and 

what is now actually being done by two vessels at 
present in the group. He could not deny it, and 
wound up all by frankly admitting that it ought to 
be reported to the world what is now being done by 

these two vessels, viz., the " D W ," and 

the " T ." 

Aneiteum, Saturday, hth August. — Our brethren 
Geddie, Powell, and Archibald, with their families, 
are all landed, and pretty comfortably lodged in the 
little plastered cottage, which the teachers have 
given up for their temporary use. Have just been 
on shore, and after prayer, commending each other 
and the interests of the mission to the divine care 
and blessing, we bade our friends farewell. As the 
appointment of Mr. Nisbet was with special reference 
to the occupation of the large island of Vate, it is 


virtually nullified by commencing the mission at 
Aneiteum. The three brethren now on shore form 
a sufficient number for the size and population of the 
island. Mr. Nisbet will now return to his station 
in Samoa, and, on the way thither, unite with me in 
the visitation duties in the Loyalty Islands, at New 
Caledonia, and at Savage Island. We have a fair 
wind for Mare, and are about to weigh anchor. 

At Sea, Monday Afternoon, 7th August. — A me- 
morable day in our eventful voyage. Death has 
entered our little company and taken away the New 
Caledonia native, Keamu. He has been wasting 
away for the last twelve months, and died suddenly 
this morning. Mr. Murray and I brought him and 
Navie from New Caledonia, three years ago. The 
year before last they were taken back by Messrs. 
Gill and Nisbet, but war was then raging on shore, 
the settlement burned, and the people off to the 
mountains. As there was no hope of safety for the 
young men if put on shore, they were brought away 
again. Navie died soon after at Rarotonga, and 
now we have just committed to the deep the body of 
Keamu. Mr. Nisbet talked and prayed with him a 
few minutes before he died. He was quite sensible, 
and seemed to enjoy it. We did not think he was 
so near his end. We have some hope that his 
soul is safe in heaven, as the first-fruits unto God 
from New Caledonia ; and, if so, one great end of 
his removal from his native land has been accom- 

At Sea off Mare, Wednesday, 9th August. — 


Reached the island this afternoon. Bad weather, 
bnt succeeded in having intercourse with the shore, 
and in getting off the teachers, and now we are out 
to sea again for the night. Here we have found the 
four Lifu teachers, and, first of all, we listened to 
their tale, and heard what led them to come hither. 


They left Lifu a year ago owing to war, which 
scattered the tribes among whom they laboured. 
Up to the time they left, schools and services 
on the Sabbath were kept up and attended. They 
wait at Mare for a favourable issue of the war, 
when they will return. The blind chief Bula is dead. 
He died, we fear, a heathen ; yet he evinced a pleas- 
ing concern on his death-bed for the safety and pro- 
tection of the teachers after his decease. There are 
rival claims for the chieftainship ; and these have led 
to, and prolong, the war. 

Many of the people, including some of the chiefs 
of Lifu, were cut off by an epidemic towards the 
end of 1846. As it broke out soon after the arrival 
of fresh teachers, they were blamed as having 
brought it. Many were determined to kill them, but 
some were raised up to defend them. "Kill them," said 
their enemies, " and there will be an end to the sick- 
ness !" "No," was the reply, "we are dead men if 
we do ; their God will avenge their death." "Then, 
banish them from the island !" said they. " That 
will also expose us to the divine judgments," their 


friends replied. " Let them alone ; they have come 
among us for good, not for evil !" A chief from the 
Isle of Pines, who was there at the time, was then 
consulted. "Spare the teachers!" said he ; "we 
on our island foolishly killed our teachers, think- 
ing it would remove disease, but, after their death, 
their God punished us, and disease and death raged 
among us more than ever. Spare them, lest it be 
the same here I" 

While these heathen deliberations were going on. 
the teachers were assembled, expecting and preparing 
for their death. They exhorted each other, and felt 
cheered by the hope of a happy change from earth 
to heaven, and again and again commended them- 
selves in prayer to Him who said, " Lo, I am with 
you always." Night came on. They sent for 
Ngaisone, the principal adviser of the chief Bula, 
and begged him to tell them candidly whether they 
were to be killed. "No," said he; "dismiss your 
fears. No one can touch you without the consent 
of Bula and myself." The heathen council decided 
that the teachers were to live. They were not 
unanimous, however, and the last words of the dis- 
satisfied were, " Well, let it be so ; but if Bula or any 
other chief dies, then we shall certainly kill them." 

A few days after, Bula was taken ill and died, 
and, on the very same night, a brother chief of his, 
called Uatenge, was reported to be dead too. Our 
poor teachers thought it was all up with them now, 
and had no hope whatever of life. It was at mid- 
night when the death-wail of the friends of Bula burst 


upon them. They all got up and prepared again for 
their death. After conversing and praying for a 
while, it occurred to them that it might have some 
effect all to go boldly to the place, condole with the 
mourners, and show their respect for the dead by 
offering to assist in laying out the bodies. They 
took a quantity of Samoan native cloth with them, 
and off they went in the dark to the dismal scene. 
The court or inclosure was full of people. Bula 
was one of the greatest chiefs on the island, and 
much venerated. The crowd were armed, all on their 
feet, and talking of immediate revenge on the 
teachers. The poor teachers shook from head to 
foot as they approached, but, to their amazement, 
the crowd were awe- struck, respectfully gave way, 
opened a passage for them, laid down their arms, 
and all sat down. The teachers went up to the 
corpse of Bula. The body of Uatenge was laid side 
by side with it, and Ngaisone was sitting among the 
chief mourners. " We have come," said they ; " we 
have great compassion for you. We feel deeply 
grieved, and, if you will allow us, we wish to show 
our respect for our departed friends, by laying out 
their bodies as we are accustomed to prepare the 
bodies of chiefs for burial in Samoa." Ngaisone re- 
plied, said he was glad to see them, that their pro- 
posal was very grateful to his feelings, and that they 
were quite at liberty to do as they wished. It is the 
custom at Lifu, on these occasions, to shorten the 
length of the body, by tying the head and the knees 
together, they also gather together the arms and 


legs. But the teachers proceeded to lay out the 
bodies of the two chiefs in full length, in several 
folds of native cloth, after the fashion of the ancient 

While this was going on, the friends of the de- 
parted had assembled close by, in earnest debate, as 
to who were to be killed. It is the custom to im- 
pute the death of a chief to human agency, and, on 
these occasions, the friends, like so many avengers 
of blood, are up in arms, and rest not until they have 
spread death and desolation somewhere in the land. 
Malice is sure to be at work at such times, and cer- 
tain parties are fixed upon as having caused the 
death through their incantations or witchcraft. 
When the teachers had dressed the bodies, they 
slipped along, and listened to the deadly conference. 
Many, but especially some people from an inland 
settlement, blamed the teachers, and wished to kill 
them at once. Ngaisone opposed, and said they 
must kill him first. " Then let us kill him," said a 
number of voices, but this made the division worse 
divided, and, after a time, the majority of votes 
went against another family, and off a party in- 
stantly went and killed the whole of them, viz., a 
family of eight individuals. Ngaisone is still a 
heathen, but to him, under God, the teachers owe 
their lives. We have the old man now on board 
with us, have given him a present, and have warmly 
acknowledged his kindness to the teachers in their 
time of need. He has fled hither also, owing to the 
war. We have begged him to do all he can for 


peace, that lie and the teachers, and all the refugees, 
may soon be able to return to their distracted island. 
In a gale in February last, two sandal- wooding 
schooners from Sydney went on shore at Lifu. The 
one was got off, and all hands belonging to the two 
vessels were saved, and went in her to Sydney. 
The natives assisted to their utmost in saving life 
and property, for which we are glad to learn the 
captains of the vessels liberally rewarded them. 


The Mare teachers report that schools have fallen 
off, but that the services are attended by many of 
the people on the Sabbath. They have four preach- 
ing stations at a distance, which they supply on 
that day. Some, we trust, are " not far from the 
kingdom of God ;" but the people generally still 
amalgamate with their Christianity their former rites 
of heathenism. 

An old chief, hearing the teachers tracing 
diseases to divine and not human agency, sent for 
a noted priest, and engaged him to exert his power 
and bring disease upon some of the teachers, to see 
whether Jehovah or the priests of Mare were true. 
The priest went to the bush behind the teachers' 
house, with his basket of relics, viz., the hair, finger- 
nails, bones, etc., of his forefathers ; and, striking 
the air with his club, looked to see whether there 
was blood on his basket — a sign that vengeance had 
gone forth on the teachers. He beat the air and 


looked at his basket until he was tired. No blood 
appeared; and chief and priest concluded that 
"Jehovah, the God of the teachers, must be a true 
God and a mighty one." The chief is attached to 
the teachers, and, since that time, the priest has 
sent for the teachers to preach regularly in his 

A sandal-wooding schooner was driven on shore 
here in the gale of February last. The crew took 
to the boat when the vessel struck. After pulling 
along the coast a little way, they were overpowered 
by the gale, thrown among the breakers, washed 
into a cave among the rocks, and there perished. 
They were nine in all, viz., seven white men and 
two natives of the Isle of Pines. 

Some of the natives of Mare and Lifu, who have 
been to Sydney, have returned. They relate what 
they saw on Sabbaths — great houses for the wor- 
ship of God, crowds attending, schools for the 
children, etc. ; and are thus testifying to their 
countrymen that what the teachers have told them 
of Christianity must be true. This is a happy cir- 
cumstance, as our teachers have suffered from un- 
principled men telling the natives that religion 
was all a hoax, and that the Samoans were a set 
of impostors. A Mare native one day smartly re- 
plied to one of these fellows : " Samoan impostors ! 
No ; it was not a Samoan ship that brought 
our teachers. It was an English ship, and white 
Englishmen like yourselves." And now some of 
them can add: "Is there no Sabbath in Sydney? 


What about the large churches we saw ? Everybody 
yonder attends to the Word of God." 

Last year, after a long drought, Mare suffered 
grievously from famine. In such extremities the 
natives eat the bark and leaves of certain trees, 
grass, roots of bananas, etc., and are mad after 
human flesh. This was a trying time for the 
teachers, but God preserved their lives. They say 
they felt getting faint-hearted, like the Israelites in the 
wilderness, and longed for their Samoan Egypt. 

Tataio having now been out seven years, we have 
removed him for a time for further instruction. 
Three teachers remain, in addition to the three 
from Lifu. Left Mare just before sunset, and are 
now heading eastward, and bound next for Savage 
Island. The death of Keamu has deprived us of 
the interpreter upon whom we depended for holding 
intercourse with New Caledonia, and as we have no 
teachers to spare, we have given up the idea of call- 
ing there this voyage. 


At Sea, off Savage Island, 28th August. — Knowing 
the custom here of killing their countrymen who 
visit a foreign place, as soon as they return, with a 
view to prevent disease, we approached the island 
this afternoon with much concern for the safety of 
our teacher Peniamina. He is a Savage Islander, 
was some time in our institution in Samoa, and was 
placed here, at his own request, last voyage. The 

H H 


first canoe relieved our minds. They echoed his 
name, pointed behind, and soon we had our old 
friend on board shaking hands with us. We have 
just heard his report, and, as there is no anchorage, 
have stood off for the night with himself and some 
others on board. He says he was in great danger 
when he first landed. The first day crowds assem- 
bled, armed, and wishing to kill him. The Samoan 
canoe given him, together with his chest and pro- 
perty, they wanted sent back to the vessel as soon 
as they were landed, saying that the foreign wood 
would cause disease among them. He reasoned 
with them, told them to examine the wood — it was 
the very same as grew on their own island. And as 
to himself, he said, " You know this is my country ; 
I am not a god, I am just like yourselves, and have 
no control over disease." Then he told them of the 
new religion, immortality, heaven, hell, and salvation 
through Christ. He also prayed with them, and for 
them. The hearts of many were touched, and they 
wished him to be spared. Others still insisted on 
his being put to death. " Let us do it now," they 
said ; "let us do it now while he is alone, and before 
disease breaks out ; by and by others will join him, 
and then it will be a hard matter !" Night came on 
and he had no place to lay his head. The people, 
fearing pollution, were afraid to let him sleep in their 
houses. They told him to sleep under a tree for the 
night. Then they thought of a deserted fortification, 
and said he had better go there. Thither he went, 
but rain came on, and, as there was no shelter, he 


got up and wandered about. He was asked into one 
house, and there had a morsel of food ; and in another 
he at last found a resting-place. Next day, he had 
to open his chest and show them his property ; some 
things were stolen, others he gave them at their 
urgent request, and he was left with all but an 
empty box. 

Finding that his friends daily increased, some 
priests tried the sorceries of their craft to put him 
to death secretly, but all was in vain. The Word of 
God grew and prevailed. The people of the district 
gave up working on the Sabbath, and commenced 
attending religious services on that day. Family 
prayer, too, was begun, and also asking a blessing 
at their meals ; and this is the state in which we 
have now found them. We are glad also to learn 
that they are now willing to receive a Samoan 
teacher. This they refused to do last voyage. They 
live on hostile terms with other tribes ; but in one of 
the other divisions of the island they think teachers 
would be received. A desire for hatchets and fish- 
hooks is the principal motive at present ; but time, 
and an efficient labourer or two, under the divine 
blessing, will, doubtless, give other results. 

An American whaler touched here some time 
ago, Peniamina went on board and showed his 
paper of credentials, which we always leave with our 
teachers. On the faith of it the captain landed with 
two boats, and cut fire-wood. They were benighted, 
but slept in a cave among the rocks, near the land- 
ing-place. They were afraid, probably, to risk them- 


selves among the natives. Peniamina remained with 
them and all behaved well. 

At Sea, off Savage Island, 29th August. — We have 
just left Savage Island. Numbers of the natives 
wished to go with us to Samoa, but we have only 
brought two. Pity but we had been able to leave 
another teacher ; still we must be thankful for the 
fact, that the door is at last wide open, and that 
we may take teachers now to the island with 
safety. Peniamina says the natives are struck with 
the manifestly disinterested nature of our visits. 
Some of them, in conversation to-day, were thought- 
fully remarking to each other, " These men must 
have great and true love for us, in visiting us so 
often without getting anything. We never give any- 
thing without getting something for it ; not so with 
this vessel which is coming here time after time." 

While Peniamina was with us at Malua, he gave 
me some interesting items respecting his island 
home. It is an uplifted coral island, 300 feet above 
the level of the sea, about forty miles in circumfe- 
rence ; in 19° S. lat., and 170° W. long. ; and popu- 
lated by upwards of 4000 light copper- coloured 
natives, very like the Samoans. Their dialect is a 
compound of Samoan and Tongan. Their tradi- 
tions trace their origin to Huanaki and Fao, two 
men who swam from Tonga. They found the island 
just above the surface, and washed by the ocean. 
They got up on it, stamped with the foot, up it rose, 
the water ran off, and the dry land appeared. They 
stamped again, and up sprang the grass, trees, and 


other vegetation. Then they caused a man and a 
woman to grow from the ti plant, and from these 
sprang the race of man ! Polygamy prevails. The 
women are kindly treated. Care is taken of the 
children, with the exception of the illegitimate, who 
are a disgrace to the family, and thrown into the 
sea, or the bush, as soon as born. There is a three- 
fold division of the island. They have no king. 
Of old they had kings, but as they were the high- 
priests as well, and were supposed to cause the food 
to grow, the people got angry with them in times of 
scarcity, and killed them ; and as one after another 
was killed, the end of it was that no one wished to be 
king. In war and other matters, the heads of families 
form the deliberative assembly, or government for 
the time being. They are constantly at war with 
each other. Stones, rounded like a cannon-ball, for 
throwing with the hand, clubs, and spears, are their 
weapons. In encouraging each other, on going to 
battle, they say, " Well, if we die, we shall not have 
to die over again. It is only the death we should 
have to die some other day." Suicide is common. 
In a fit of anger they jump from the rocks into the 
ocean, and are seen no more. The houses are round 
low huts. Yams, taro, bananas, cocoa-nuts, and fish 
are the staff of life. They have no quadrupeds. 
They are all teetotallers, and do not, like the most of 
their neighbouring islanders, drink the intoxicating 
kava. Nor are they cannibals. They have a tradi- 
tionary dread of Tongans as " men-eaters." The 
women have a decent girdle of leaves. The men 



wear the maro, which, is a belt, and strip of native 
cloth, hardly an advance on nudity. They have 
wooden flutes as musical instruments, they are single 
and double, resembling those of the ancient Egyp- 
tians, only shorter, and are blown with the nostrils. 

The Savage Islanders worship the spirits of their 
ancestors. They say that, a long time ago, they 
paid religious homage to an image which had legs 
like a man, but in the time of a great epidemic, and 
thinking the sickness was caused by the idol, they 
broke it in pieces, and threw it away. They dispose 
of the dead by setting them adrift out to sea in a 
canoe, or by laying the body on a pile of stones in 
the bush, and covering it over with cocoa-nut leaves. 
After a time the bones are gathered, and deposited 
in family caves or vaults. The women singe off the 
hair of their heads, as a token of mourning, on the 
death of their husbands. They have a subterranean 
region, called Maui, for the spirits of the departed, 
but their favourite place is the land of Sina (Seena) 
in the skies. They say there is "no night there ;" 
and here again we have a fragment of the long-lost 

The two lads taken away by Mr. Williams, 
eighteen years ago, were sadly afraid on board the 
"Messenger of Peace" when they saw the crew 
eating salt meat. They had never seen such a thing 
before, concluded it was human flesh, and supposed 
that they had been picked up as food for the white 
men. They were most kindly treated, but could not 
for weeks get rid of the idea that they were only 


being fattened for the knife. They were taken back 
to Savage Island in good health, and had much to 
tell about the Tahitian and other islands. But after 
a time influenza broke out, and the two young men 
were blamed for bringing it from Tahiti. One of 
them was killed, and also his father ; the other 
escaped on board a whaler which was cruising off the 
island at the time, and, in his flight, was accompa- 
nied by this very Peniamina, who is now a teacher. 
Peniamina found his way to Samoa, became a con- 
verted character, went back to his countrymen, six 
years ago, in the " Camden," but had to leave again 
by the same vessel, as his friends said he was sure to 
be killed. He returned to Samoa, was a long time 
under Mr. Drummond's care, and subsequently was 
admitted to the institution at Malua. He tried to 
gain a footing once more among his countrymen, and 
the result I have just recorded. May God still be 
with him, preserve his life, and keep the door open 
for other labourers at Savage Island. 

At Sea, off Tutuila, Friday, 1st September. — Have 
been on shore to-day for a few hours with Mr. Mur- 
ray. Heard of the French Revolution, and of the flight 
of Louis Philippe to England. Yisited with much 
emotion the grave of our fellow-voyager from 
England, brother Bullen, and also the grave of 
George Lundie. We hope to anchor at Apia to- 

Apia, TJpolu, 2nd September, 1848. — Once more at 
anchor here. Glad to find my dear wife and chil- 
dren in the neighbourhood, and all well. Glad also 


to hear that all the mission families are well, and 
that the natives, though still encamped and hostile, 
have had no fighting since we left. And now we 
close the voyage on which we set out in July, and do 
so with heartfelt thanks to God for all the protection 
and guidance vouchsafed throughout its course, and 
for all the encouragement he gives us to go forward 
in our hallowed enterprise for the evangelization of 
these dark places of the earth. 




Having been again appointed by the members of the 
Samoan mission to proceed as a deputation to visit 
the New Hebrides, Loyalty, and other islands, and 
having arranged and done up the supplies for native 
teachers and their wives to the number of seventy, I 
embarked in the " John Williams" on Tuesday, the 
27th of September, 1859. In addition to the usual 
crew of seventeen, our number consisted of the fol- 
lowing parties : — The Rev. Messrs. Macfarlane and 
Baker, just out from England as missionaries for the 
Loyalty Islands, together with Mrs. Macfarlane, Mrs. 
Baker, and two children ; three native teachers with 
their wives, from the institution at Rarotonga ; four 
native teachers from the institution at Samoa, of 
whom two were married ; a native of Vate, who had 
been a year in Samoa, and another from the same 
island who had been about the same time at Raro- 
tonga ; four natives of Lifu, who were lately rescued 
from slavery on the island of Ascension ; some chil- 
dren of the teachers also, who, with myself and 
servant boy, made up our number to fifty -three. 

On the 30th we sighted and passed Home Island. 
On the 1st of October we crossed the meridian of 


Greenwich. On Tuesday, the 4th, we sighted Fu- 
tuna, of the New Hebrides, and on the following 
morning anchored in the harbour of Anelicauhat, on 
the S.W. side of Aneiteum. Found Mr. and Mrs. 
Geddie and family well, and the affairs of the mis- 
sion making progress in the right direction. The 
walls of a new stone church were rising, beautifully 
figurative of the steady advance of the cause of 
Christ on this island ; and I was struck also with 
the fact, that the place on the beach where the na- 
tives were digging up the sandstone for their church 
was about the very spot where Mr. Murray and I had 
our meeting with the chief Nohuat and some of his 
people, when we first visited that side of the island 
fifteen years ago. In the afternoon we attended a 
meeting of about 400 of the people. I spoke a few 
words to them, expressive of my great joy in seeing 
what God by the gospel had done for them; re- 
minded them of our struggle with the heathenism 
of former days, and exhorted them to be thankful 
to God for having sent his servants to lead them 
from darkness to light.* 

On Thursday, the 6th, met with Messrs. Geddie, 
Inglis, Matheson, and Copeland, missionaries from 
Glasgow and Nova Scotia, labouring in this group. 

* Our old friend Nohuat died in June last ; but the disap- 
pointment of not meeting with him was greatly modified by 
learning that, for four years before his death, he had been a mem- 
ber of the church, and also that his son, who succeeds him in the 
chieftainship, is a church member too, and foremost in every- 
thing that is good. 


Messrs. Baker and Macfarlane were also present. 
We had Captain Williams in the chair, and deli- 
berated on various matters of importance relative 
to the mission, and the movements of the " John 

We were sorry to learn that Mr. Matheson's 
health had failed, and that he was obliged to retire 
from his work on Tanna. He was better than he 
had been some months before, but still far from well. 
Mr. Copeland has also retired from Tanna for a time, 
but it is to take charge of Mr. Inglis's station, while 
he proceeds to England with the manuscript of the 
New Testament in the dialect of Aneiteum, to carry 
through the press. We were grieved to hear that 
the Tanna mission has been further weakened by the 
lamented death of Mrs. Paton. Mr. Paton is the 
only missionary there at present, and is solitary in- 
deed on that savage shore. We arranged with the 
Aneiteum brethren for two of their best teachers to 
take with us to Vate, as we are anxious to try a 
Papuan native agency on that island, which has 
hitherto proved so unhealthy to our Eastern Poly- 
nesian teachers. 

On Friday, the 7th, I left the ship, in company 
with Mr. Inglis and Mr. Copeland, and visited the 
first station we had on the island on the N.E. side, 
and where Mr. and Mrs. Inglis have laboured for 
seven years. After the visit of 1845 war broke out, 
and the station was abandoned. In 1848 Mr. JSTisbet 
and I recommenced the work by locating two teach- 
ers, and ever since it has gone on. Instead of the 


uncultivated heathen shore, without a house to be seen, 
there are now at Aname the lovely mission premises, 
church, class-room, dwelling-houses, and a cheerful 
group of young men and women living in the neigh- 
bourhood, and under regular instruction. There 
were only seven young lads there who knew their 
letters in 1845 ; now there are a thousand people in 
the district who can read the New Testament. 

On the Sabbath-day I attended divine service. 
About 400 were present, and they listened with 
marked attention while Mr. Inglis and I addressed 
them. Some of them, after the service, shook hands, 
and said they could hardly suppress their tears while 
I spoke to them of the heathen times of eleven and 
fourteen years back. I was pleased, also, to see the 
people pretty well clothed. The women, for in- 
stance, had straw bonnets on, with the exception 
of some three or four, and they had a decent cotton 
handkerchief on their head as a substitute. There 
are at this station 130 church members. But one of 
the most hopeful prospects for future progress which 
I saw here was, the select class of sixty young men 
and women, who are under tuition with a view to 
their being employed as native teachers. 

The entire population of Aneiteum is 3513. 
All, I may say, are professedly Christian. Hardly 
one can now be found who calls himself a heathen. 
The church members number 297, and the candidates 
for admission to the church 110. The island is en- 
circled by fifty-six school-houses, eleven chapels, and 
sixty native teachers and assistants. I was glad 


also to learn that the missionaries of this group had 
formed an auxiliary to the British and Foreign Bible 
Society. The sum raised during the last two years 
amounts to £60, upwards of £20 of which have been 
collected by Mrs. Captain Edwards from sandal- 
wooding and other vessels visiting Eromanga. 

On Monday, the 10th October, we were all ready 
for sea again, with the addition to our party of four 
Aneiteum teachers and their wives and children. 
We had also on board a quantity of wood which had 
been prepared at Aneiteum for building a chapel at 
Tanna. Mr. Inglis, too, now joined us to visit 
Tanna, and aid in the location of teachers at Futuna 
and Mua. It was arranged also that the mission 
schooner " John Knox," commanded by Mr. C. An- 
derson, of the "John Williams," follow as our 
tender, to take back Mr. Inglis to Aneiteum after 
finishing our business at the islands just named. 


Tuesday, 11th October. — Were off the island of 
Futuna. At ten o'clock a.m. Mr. Inglis, Captain 
Williams, and I left the ship in two boats, taking 
with us a teacher who formerly laboured on the 
island, and a fresh one. Reached the shore on the 
N". W. side by eleven o'clock. Found the beach 
lined with crowds of savages, armed with clubs, 
spears, bows and arrows, and kawases, much as they 
were when I was first there with Mr. Murray in 
1845, in search of our teachers, who had recently 


been killed. We saw women and children about, 
and also two of the Aneiteum teachers among the 
crowd, and felt confidence in going on shore among 
them at once. We went up the hill to the teachers' 
house, at the village called Ipau, and there met 
with the teachers and some leading men from their 
stations. On landing, and all the way up the hill, I 
recognized the hiding-places among the rocks, and 
great blocks of coral, behind which the natives con- 
cealed themselves when I was here before. Guilt at 
that time made them dread an attack from us, on ac- 
count of the massacre of our teachers, and we were 
shy of them, not seeing our teachers, and fearing 
that they had been killed. 

Since last year, the teacher's house at Ipau has 
been burned. He was blamed as the cause of 
disease. A person died, and the friends sought 
revenge in burning the teacher's house. There was 
a friend of the teacher, a sick man from Aneiteum, 
lying in the house at the time, and they wished to 
burn him with the house, thinking that he was the 
cause of disease. The poor man, however, was got 
out in time and saved ; and, with the burning of the 
house, the anger of the people passed off. The 
teachers soon got up another house. 

A few at each of the three stations are nominally 
Christian, but it is still the " night of toil " on that 
heathen shore. Not long ago, the brother of the 
chief Kotiama died. Some parties were blamed as 
having caused his death by witchcraft, and six of 
them were forthwith killed, viz., three men and 


three women. More would probably have been 
sacrificed, but they fled to sea, and escaped to Anei- 
teum. It was this same Kotiama who consented to 
the massacre of our teachers, a number of years ago. 
He is friendly again, and it is hoped he will ere long 
receive a teacher into his settlement. 

We arranged to leave another Aneiteum teacher 
here, and also an Aitutakian teacher, named Ru, and 
his wife. The chiefs and people expressed their 
satisfaction, and we had a religious service, in which 
Mr. Inglis, Ru, and I engaged, and then returned to 
our boats. We had promised to give four chiefs a 
passage to Tanna, but when leaving the beach, a 
number more were clamorous to join us. It was 
difficult to distinguish one from another, and so we 
pushed off, and pulled out to the deep water behind 
the reef, with all who clung to the boats. We then 
called out their names, and got the four into our 
boat, to whom at our meeting we promised a pas- 
sage. We commissioned Mr. Griffin, the second 
mate, to return to the shore with the remaining six 
in his boat, and put them safely on the rocks. He 
got rid of his party, but as he came out we saw him 
waving his cap, and heard him shouting that we 
must go back and take off the new teacher Ru, as 
the natives were going to kill him. We could not 
imagine whatever had sprung up so suddenly, but 
back we must go. We put the four chiefs we had in 
our boat into Mr. Griffin's boat, and got him to keep 
off with them as hostages, while we went in alone to 
see what was the matter. As we reached the rocks 


close by the beach, two of the Aneiteum teachers 
stood and shouted, that one of the party who had 
been refused a passage was a bit of a chief, and a 
passionate fellow, and that he was now in a rage, 
and blustering about furiously. We told them to 
go and tell him that if he was anxious to go, we had 
no wish to disoblige him, and that he might come. 
This made all right again. He came, we took him 
into the boat, pulled off to the ship, got safely on 
board by four o'clock, and made sail for Tanna. 


Wednesday, 12th October. — Anchored at noon in 
Port Resolution. Found Mr. Paton well, but, since 
his arrival twelve months ago, he has been deeply 
afflicted. In March last he lost his wife and infant 
son. Mrs. Paton died very suddenly, apparently 
from the rupture of a blood-vessel, on the 5th of 
March ; and on the 21st of the same month her 
infant followed her to the grave. She was devotedly 
attached to the cause of Christ, seemed healthy, and 
bade fair to labour long in the mission. But how 
short-sighted is man ! I visited the good woman's 
grave in the garden, and planted the seed of a date- 
palm at the head. 

In addition to this heavy affliction, Mr. Paton 
has had fourteen attacks of fever and ague in the 
twelve months. He is pretty well at present, but 
we fear he will soon break down, if not speedily 
aided by some other missionaries, to share with him 


in the toils of that very difficult mission. Like 
other missionaries and teachers who have been 
there, he is blamed as the cause of disease, and his 
life has been repeatedly threatened, but, hitherto, 
men have been raised up in each extremity to stand 
by him, and oppose all attempts on his life. As the 
tribes are all hostile in the neighbourhood, and 
kidnapping each other, he has never been able to 
venture more than a mile or two from his own door 
on the south and west sides of the bay. He has 
walked once, however, twelve miles to the south- 
east, as far as the station lately occupied by Mr. 
Matheson, where Aneiteum teachers are now labour- 
ing with some encouragement. 

Mr. Paton thinks that there are at least two 
dialects on the island, widely differing from each 
other, and both Papuan. He is about to erect a 
house on a hill immediately behind the present mis- 
sion premises, and we took him from Aneiteum a 
large quantity of wood, with which to build a chapel 
close by it. He is fast acquiring the language, and 
if spared to get the chapel up, hopes to be able to 
conduct services regularly there every Lord's-day. 
I only met with some three or four of the people 
who were there seventeen years ago. Many are 
dead, and many survive, but they have been driven 
in war away inland. The district on the east side 
of the harbour has of late years completely changed 
hands. It is still the opinion that Tanna is densely 
populated. Some think there may be 20,000 on the 
island. It is all guess-work, but, from appearances, 

i i 


I should expect to hear that there are at least 
15,000. We found a Sydney vessel at anchor 
collecting sulphur. The captain said he had pro- 
cured close upon forty tons in three weeks, but 
owing to the hostile state of the tribes, between the 
head of the bay and the volcano, it was difficult to 
procure it. He got some from the natives on the 
rocks on the west side of the bay, but had to send 
his boats for the most of it, round three miles to 
" Sulphur Bay," as it is called, at the entrance to 
the volcano valley, and there they bought it for 
tobacco pipes, etc. The action of the volcano is 
much the same as it was when I was there, eleven, 
fourteen, and seventeen years ago, viz., an eruption 
every five, seven, or ten minutes. 

We left Tanna on Thursday the 13th. We tried 
to persuade Mr, Paton to come on board with us for 
a three weeks' cruise, to invigorate his weakened 
system; but he declined, fearing lest his absence 
should cause any reaction, and occasion the loss of 
the little hold which he thinks he has obtained. If 
he is spared to live and labour there, he will yet, I 
trust, be blessed in effecting great things for that 
savage people. He is aided by eleven Aneiteum 
teachers, and occupies nine different points, but 
at least three other European missionaries are ur- 
gently wanted for that important field. May the 
Lord of the harvest soon send them forth ! 



Friday, 14th October. — At daylight we were close 
upon Mua. Lowered the boats at nine a.m., and 
Mr. Inglis, Captain "Williams, and I left for the 
shore, taking with us an Aitutakian teacher, named 
Makea, and his wife and daughter. We headed in to 
a place called Surama, on the west side of the island. 
The natives on the rocks at the landing-place were 
armed as usual, but quieter-looking than the Futuna 
people. We found among them Navallak, the Anei- 
teum teacher, who was located there last year, but 
not his fellow-teacher, named Kemeian. Poor 
fellow ! he was killed lately. The particulars of this 
sad event are as follows : About thirty years ago a 
party of Mua people left to visit some friends on 
Aneiteum. Through stress of weather they were 
driven to a different part of the coast from that to 
which they wished to go. The natives there, accord- 
ing to a common New Hebrides custom, killed the 
strangers and cooked their bodies. Two of them, 
however, escaped, and hid among the rocks. At 
night they stole a canoe and two paddles from an 
adjacent village, set up a cocoa-nut leaf for a sail, 
and got back to their own island. They related all 
about the massacre to their comrades, and from that 
day the Mua people determined to be avenged on 
the first Aneiteum men from that particular district 
who came within their reach. To perpetuate the 
memory of the tragic deed, and hand to posterity a 


call for revenge, they set up sticks in the ground, 
and renewed them as they rotted. Unhappily, but 
quite unknown to the missionaries, one of the two 
teachers who were taken there last voyage was 
from the very spot where the Mua people were 
massacred. Some of the old people scented out the 
land and pedigree of this man. The teachers felt 
uneasy when they heard that the old affair was 
talked about, but did not think that matters would 
reach such a crisis. The Mua people did not like to 
strike the blow themselves, but gave the hint to two 
Tanna desperadoes living on the island at the time, 
and they did the deed. They waylaid the teachers 
on a Sabbath-day, when they were returning from 
another part of the island, where they had gone to 
preach. Nemeian was hit on the head with a kawas, 
and fell dead. Navallak was beaten with a club, but 
escaped wounded. The Mua people met, declared 
that the death of Nemeian was sufficient to wipe off 
the stain, plucked up the sticks, and begged the 
wounded teacher still to remain. He forgave them, 
consented to stay, and there he now is, still at 

This man, Navallak, has got up a little chapel, 
twenty-five feet long, near to his own house, and has 
an attendance of some forty of the people at his 
Sabbath services. He has presents of food, occa- 
sionally, and other proofs that the people respect 
him. One of the two Tanna natives who attacked 
Navallak and Nemeian, was shot dead soon after, in 
battle, at Tanna. There is another Aneiteum teacher 


on the island, called Nalmai, and he, too, has some 
measure of success. We have now located a third 
teacher, viz., Makea of Aitutaki, with his wife and 

We had a service, and conversed with some 
forty of the chiefs and people, and were pleased 
with their quiet and friendly aspect. This island 
would form a fine station for a missionary, taking 
under his care Futuna also, as the dialects of these 
two islands are precisely alike. JSTiua was a spot 
where we considered our teachers perfectly safe ; but 
the unhappy circumstance to which I have just re- 
ferred, makes it the sixth island of the New Hebrides 
stained with the blood of God's martyred servants. 
But we will not give up the hope that it may, ere 
long, be a fair and fertile spot in the vineyard of 
Christ's Church. 

After finishing our work there, Captain Williams 
and I took Mr. Inglis on board our little mission 
tender, the "John Knox," which had followed us 
from Aneiteum. He was soon off with a light wind 
for that island, and we proceeded to the " John 
Williams," and stood away towards Eromanga. 


Anchored at Dillon's Bay on the following morn- 
ing, viz., Saturday the 15th October. Mr. Gordon 
was soon on board, and, accompanied by him, some 
of us went on shore, and up the hill to his residence, 


about 1000 feet above the level of the sea, and there 
we found Mrs. Gordon, well. Owing to the unhealthy 
swamps on the low grounds, Mr. Gordon has built 
his cottage on the high land. Close by the house 
he has erected a small chapel, and has a fine bell at 
the one end, which echoes from hill to hill, and calls 
the tribes to their little Zion. 

Every direction is associated with the tragic 
scenes of November, 1839. At the foot of the hill 
on which the chapel stands is the stream in which 
Mr. Harris fell, and the beach where Mr. Williams 
ran into the sea. Down the hill, below Mr. Gor- 
don's study window, is the spot where the oven was 
made in which Mr. Williams's body was cooked. 
Over in another direction is the place where the 
body of Mr. Harris was taken. Inland is a grove of 
cocoa-nuts, underneath one of which the skull of 
Mr. Williams was buried. The bones taken to 
Samoa by Captain Croker,in H.B.M.'s ship, "Favour- 
ite," in 1840, were not the remains of AVilliams and 
Harris. He had no proper interpreter. The natives 
thought he wanted to bvij human bones, and took off 
for sale whatever were handy from one of the adja- 
cent caves, where they deposit their dead. One of 
the skulls was that of the father of a lad we had for 
some time with us in our institution in Samoa. It 
is difficult, at present, owing to hostility among the 
tribes, to get at the precise tree under which the 
skull of Mr. Williams was buried ; but there let the 
remains of the martyr rest, and still form part and 
parcel of that palm which waves its foliage in every 


'■ I 



breeze, emblematic of the Christian hero's triumph !* 
A piece of red sealing-wax, found in Mr. Williams's 
pocket, was supposed by the natives to be some 
portable god, and was carefully buried near where 
the skull was laid. Mr. Gordon lately recovered 
this, and handed it to me to convey to Mr. Williams's 
children, as the only relic which he has been able to 
obtain of their lamented father. At first he thought, 
from the description of the natives, that this "god" 
would turn out to be Mr. Williams's watch ; but, 
when found, it was only red sealing-wax. The 
clothes, and other things found on the body, after 
the massacre, were all distributed about, with the 
exception of this bit of sealing-wax, an inch and 
a half long. 

We had the pleasure of spending a Sabbath at 
Eromanga, and met with about 150 of the people in 
their little chapel. All were quiet and orderly. It 
thrilled our inmost soul to hear them, as led by Mrs. 
Gordon, strike up the tune of " New Lydia," and 
also the translation and tune of " There is a happy 
land." Mr. Macfarlane and I addressed them 
through Mr. Gordon. They were startled and 
deeply interested as I told them of former times, 
when we tried so hard to get intercourse with them, 
and to show them that we were different from other 

* In a letter just received from Mr. Gordon, it appears that 
after I left Eromanga last year, he got some further light on 
these sad transactions, and is now led to think that the body of 
Mr. Harris was cooked in Dillon's Bay, and that the body of 
Mr. "Williams was taken to a place a few miles distant, and 
divided among three different settlements. 


white men who had visited their shores. When I 
read out the names of seven who swam off to us in 
1845, and to whom we showed kindness, and took 
on shore in the boat, it appeared from the sensation 
created that one of them was present. He came 
after the service, shook hands ; said some two or 
three more of them were alive ; that our visit that 
day greatly surprised them, and that they marked 
our vessel as the one which showed them kindness, 
and did not take sandal-wood. They thought us 
quite different from all the white men with whom 
they had previously come in contact. 

Mr. Gordon was glad to see so many at the ser- 
vice, and considered our visit providential and oppor- 
tune. There had been a reaction. Reports were 
raised that the Aneiteum people were all dying, and 
that it was occasioned by the new religion. The 
chiefs forbade the people attending the Sabbath ser- 
vices, and the consequence was that the chapel, the 
Sabbath before our visit, was quite deserted ; only 
some five of the people ventured to attend. We 
hope chat the good effects of our visit will not soon 
pass away. But Mr. Gordon finds it up-hill work. 
The population is not only widely scattered, but 
constantly occupied with petty intertribal wars. He 
thinks the entire population of the island may be set 
down at 5000. There is one dialect which is known 
all over the island, and in this Mr. Gordon has printed 
some small four-page elementary pieces, catechisms, 
hymns, etc. The Eromangan teacher Mana is sta- 
tioned on the other side of the island, and has col- 

MISSIONARY VOYAGE il; 1859. 489 

lected a number around him. There is also an 
Aneiteum teacher assisting Mr. Gordon at Dillon's 
Bay, and Mr. G. has six young men under instruc- 
tion, who, he hopes, may yet make useful helpers. 
But Mr. G. sadly wants another missionary for Por- 
tenia Bay, on the opposite side of the island. 

On the Saturday I saw and shook hands with the 
chief Kauiau who killed Mr. Williams, and on the 
Monday met with him again. I also saw one of his 
men, called Oviallo, who killed Mr. Harris. These 
two men feel ashamed and shy when the " John 
Williams" comes. Neither of them were at the 
service on Sabbath. Probably they have had a fear 
also which they found it difficult to shake off. I 
hope, however, that Kauiau has noiv perfect confi- 
dence in our friendly intentions. On the Monday, 
he and Oviallo walked about with us, showed us 
the place where Mr. Harris was first struck, the 
place in the stream, a few yards from it, where he 
fell, and the course along the road, and down to the 
beach, where Mr. Williams ran right into the sea. 
Here, too, Oviallo helped us to pick up some stones 
to take with us as mementoes, to surviving friends, 
of the sad event. Mr. Gordon has erected a little 
printing-office and teachers' residence close to the 
spot where the first blow was struck at Mr. Harris. 
I have planted a date-palm seed there, in a line 
towards the stream with the spot where Mr. Harris 
was struck, and in a line towards the sea with the 
place where Mr. Williams fell. 

But the most striking and permanent memento of 


that sad day is a great flat block of coral on the 
road up the hill, about a gunshot from the place 
where Mr. Williams fell. There the natives took the 
body, laid it down, and cut three marks in the stone 
to preserve the remembrance of its size. The one 
mark indicates the length of the head and trunk, and 
the other the lower extremities, thus : — 

Head and trunk, JB Extremities, 
37 inches. W 25 inches. 

A native lay down on the spot, and, laying on his 
right side, with his knees somewhat bent, said that 
was how it was measured. 

When the "Camden" hove in sight on that 
morning of the 20th November, 1839, the Eroman- 
gans thought it was a sandal-wooding party returned 
who had but recently killed a number of their people, 
and plundered plantations. They were the more 
confirmed in this impression from the fact that the 
boat pulled in to the very place where that party had 
lauded before, and erected some huts. That morn- 
ing they had all ready heaps of yams and taro, for 
a feast which was to take place close by up the 
river; could not bear the thought of their being 
stolen by the white men, and determined to try and 
prevent their landing, or, if they did land, to attack 
them if they attempted to go up the river to the 
place where the yams and taro were. They sent 
the women and children out of the way, and hid 
themselves in the bush, but especially off the road 


leading up along the western bank of the stream. 
Whenever Mr. Harris made to go up there, and had 
reached the spot where I have planted the palm-tree, 
the shell blew. Kauiau rushed out with his party, 
and commenced the attack. Five out of the seven 
who were present at the massacre are dead. The 
people were not united in the affair ; some were for 
it, and some against it. Hence the remark of Cap- 
tain Morgan : " They made signals for us to go 
away." But the principal thing, on that sad day, 
which melted their hearts with pity, was, they say, 
" the man in the boat, who stood, and wrung his 
hands, and wept." And that, I suppose, was good 
Captain Morgan. 

After surveying these scenes, so full of affecting 
recollections, we went off to the vessel, and took 
Kauiau with us. We got him down into the cabin ; 
and, as this is the first time he has ventured to go 
below, it proves that he has now entire confidence 
in us. We exchanged presents also. We gave him 
a trifle, and he and his people brought off to the ship 
forty yams, twenty heads of taro, and three bunches 
of bananas — the first present which the missionary 
vessel has ever had from Eromanga, and the mur- 
derer of John Williams. On showing Kauiau all 
over the ship, we stood before Mr. Williams's por- 
trait in the saloon, and told him that was the mis- 
sionary he killed. He gazed with intense interest ; 
said he thought he could recognize the full face and 
the stout body, and was earnest in leading up to it 
some others who were with him, and in explaining 


what it meant. Kauiau is still a heathen compara- 
tively ; but let us hope that he may soon take a 
stand on the side of Christ. Mr. Gordon says that 
Oviallo is a more hopeful character, and seems to be 
deeply grieved, as he thinks of his having had a 
hand in killing " a man of God." 

In March last, three white men, and two natives 
of Yate, belonging to a sandal-wooding establish- 
ment at Dillon's Bay, were killed by the* Eroman- 
gans. So far as we could learn, the affair originated 
in a dispute about a native woman. The white men 
were mainly to blame. " They brought it upon 
themselves,' ' was the remark of Captain Edwards, 
in whose employ the unhappy men were, and he, very 
properly, did not allow any attempt at retaliation. 
As Mr. Gordon's position is distinctly understood by 
the natives, this melancholy affair did not involve 
him. While the white men were fortifying their 
premises down on the shore, firing off their guns to 
intimidate, and in constant dread of an attack from 
the natives, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon were safe in their 
cottage up the hill among the natives, without either 
fort or fire-arms. 

While at Eromanga, our attention was called to 
a somewhat questionable system of acquiring native 
labour, which is now extensively practised. The 
sandal- wooders cannot get the Eromangans to work 
as they wish, and therefore remove thither natives 
of the adjacent islands to work for them. We saw 
upwards of thirty natives of Yate, and were told that 
there were as many more in the bush cutting wood. 


There were a number of Lifu natives also. In the 
night eight Vate men swam off to our vessel, implor- 
ing us to take them home ; and ten Lifu men also 
wished us to compassionate them. They say that 
they are badly provided for, flogged, or beaten with 
a stick, at the discretion of their overseer ; are kept 
longer from their home than they wish to stay, etc.; 
and we were informed by Mr. Gordon, that numbers 
of the poor creatures sink under it, and either die, 
away from their friends, or are taken home in a 
dying state. Captain Williams and I went on shore 
to the sandal- wood establishment, to see what was to 
be done about the said runaways and others who 
wished us to take them away. A Captain Mair 
claimed all the Lifu people as his men, and begged 
us not to take one of them ; and Captain Edwards 
said that the Vate men, to the number of about 
sixty, were under engagement to him for six months, 
and that he wished to keep them, and take them 
home honourably, according to his contract with 
them. He readily gave up two, however, in 
whom we felt a special interest, as belonging to the 
Christian settlement at Erakor, to which we were 
going, and paid them for the four months they had 
been with him. Captain Mair sent his boat to re- 
move from our vessel any Lifu natives who were 
there, and to watch, until the anchor was up, that 
none escaped. We preferred his doing this, that the 
natives might see it was his doing, not ours, that 
some of them did not go with us. 

Mr. Gordon, if spared to labour at Eromanga, 


will be able in a few years to furnish many details 
respecting the manners, customs, and traditions of 
that interesting branch of the Papuan tribes. For 
the present, the following fragments, partly from him 
and partly from a Samoan teacher who was three 
years on the island, will not be uninteresting. The 
population, it has been observed, may be set down 
at 5000. They are a kindred race to the Tannese. 
They are scattered, and without any settled, well- 
ordered village. They are migratory in given 
localities, as war and planting may require. Their 
chiefs are numerous, but not powerful. There are 
two dialects on the island, differing widely from each 
other, but the one is only partially known on the 
north-east end of the island, and among a tribe 
which numbers but a few people. Children are 
kindly treated in general, but Mr. Gordon thinks 
there are some instances of infanticide, and that on 
the death of a mother, her infant child is buried 
alive with her. There are but few children in a 
family. Four is considered a large family. One 
albino has been seen. The population of the island 
is thought to be less now than formerly. The 
dysentery which raged in 1842 in other parts of the 
group, and which led to the breaking up of the 
Tanna mission, and the massacre of our teachers on 
Futuna, raged fearfully in Eromanga. They traced 
it to some hatchets taken on shore from a sandal- 
wooding vessel, and threw them all away. It is 
supposed that about a third of the population of the 
island died at that time. 


Women carry the children on the side. Circum- 
cision is practised. Connected with marriage there 
is a formal dowery. Polygamy prevails. A great 
chief has perhaps ten wives. The wife of a deceased 
husband is taken by the brother of the departed. 
Bread-fruit, yams, taro, fish, pork, and human flesh 
are the prevailing kinds of food of the people. The 
women cover their persons from the waist to the 
heels with leaf- girdles. The men prefer nudity, and 
a thick rope- work of leaves or cloth in front, half a 
yard long. The women tatoo each other about the 
mouth, cheeks, and chin, with rude devices of leaves 
and flowers. The people are fond of such amuse- 
ments as dancing, racing, dart and stone throwing. 
The principal articles of manufacture are clubs and 
bows and arrows. 

A number of old people are to be seen. The sick 
are not well cared for. They have some medicines 
for cases of poisoning, difficult labour, etc. They 
believe in witchcraft, and other things as causing 
disease. There are few hunchbacks. Ulcerous 
sores are common, and also elephantiasis, and fever 
and ague. The dead are buried, in some cases, with- 
out any covering, and, in others, with a winding- 
sheet of cocoa-nut leaves. They do not raise any 
mark over the grave. It is known rather by a 
depression in the earth of a few inches, and by two 
sticks standing up, the one at the head and the 
other at the feet. Some also are laid in caves, with- 
out any earth or covering. They do not eat any- 
thing which grows within about 100 yards of a place 


where their oivn dead are buried, but strangers from 
another district will pluck cocoa-nuts, and eat freely 
of such things as grow there. 

The spirits of the dead are supposed to go east- 
ward, but they do not know where. Spirits are also 
thought to roam the bush. Nobu is the name which 
they give to their great god. They say that after 
creating the human race at Eromanga, he went away 
to another land. When they first saw white men, 
they concluded that they were made by the same 
great spirit, and to this day call foreigners, whether 
white or black, by the name of Nobu. They say 
that " once upon a time " men walked like pigs, and 
the pigs walked erect ! The birds and some reptiles 
had a meeting about it. The lizard said he thought 
the pig should go all fours, and the men walk erect. 
The " water- wagtail " disputed this. It ended in 
the lizard going up a cocoa-nut tree, falling on the 
back of the pig, and making it stoop, and creep as 
it now does, and ever since pigs creep, and men 
walk erect ! The first of the human race, they say, 
was a woman, then her son, and from them sprung 
the race of men. They have many tales about the 
doings of that woman and her son. 

Rain they suppose to be caused by the sun, and 
say that if he is a long time without giving any, 
some of the stars get augry and stone him until he 
causes rain to fall. In another curious fragment, we 
trace the Scripture account of the prophet Jonah. 
One of their people, they say, fell into the sea, and 
was immediately swallowed by a whale. After a 


time the projecting pieces of wood, which he wore 
horizontally as earrings, pricked the inside of the 
whale and made it vomit him forth again. He was 
still alive, bnt as he walked up from the beach he 
was thin and weak ! 

Monday, 17 th October. — In the afternoon we 
parted with Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, and there, as at 
Tanna, it made us sad to think of but one solitary 
missionary on such an island. Another missionary 
should be sent out at once for Eromanga. 


Tuesday, 18th October. — Anchored in Erakor 
Bay, on the S.W. side of Vate, or Efat, as the 
Erakor people call it. The Rarotongan teachers, 
Teaumaru and Toma, with a number of the people, 
came off immediately. The two families were well ; 
but we were sorry to learn that Teautoa had died 
since last voyage, and his wife also. Fever and 
ague seemed to be the principal complaint of the 
former, but the latter died in child-bed. The whole 
of the settlement of Erakor is nominally Christian. 
The population is about 250. All are kind to the 
teachers, and supply them with food, without stint 
and without price. Eight natives of the place are 
employed by the teachers as helpers in the work, 
and they, with six others, the teachers think, might 
be admitted to church fellowship, were a church 
constituted. There has been no war between Era- 
kor and neighbouring tribes for a long time, but 



still the way for the teachers' preaching in other set- 
tlements is hedged up. The people forbid their going 
there to preach, owing to the superstitious belief 
that unusual sickness and death follow wherever the 
new religion is received. Still the teachers have 
done a good deal during the last twelve months. 
They have acquired some fluency in the difficult 
dialect, and have superintended the building of a 
new chapel, twice the size of the old one. 

As the teachers had suffered from fever and ague, 
they expressed a desire that we should occupy this 
place by Aneiteum teachers, who are more likely to 
stand the climate. I said that was precisely our 
own wish, and that we had now brought two of 
them, with their wives, for the very purpose of 
making a commencement. They were pleased with 
the arrangement, agreed to remain for another year, 
and we proceeded to give them their supplies. After 
this, Captain Williams and I went on shore with the 
new teachers and others we had to land at this 
place, ten individuals in all, viz., the Aneiteum 
teachers, Thevthev and Vathea, their wives and one 
child; the two Vate natives, who were taken last 
year on a visit to Samoa and Rarotonga ; the two 
we picked up at Eromanga ; and the child of one of 
the Rarotongan teachers. 

After pulling for half an hour up the beautiful 
lagoon, we reached the landing-place, and there a 
crowd of natives awaited our arrival, who gave us a 
warm and hospitable welcome. A table was spread 
for the captain and myself in the house of the 


teacher, and in another honse provision was made 
for the boats' crews and the newly-arrived teachers. 
After conversation with the. teachers, the chief Po- 
mare, and some of the people, abont the new 
teachers, it was arranged that, for the present, they 
take up their abode with the Rarotongan teachers. 
We then had the native drum beaten to call all to 
service. The new chapel looks clean, light, and 
commodious. It is forty-five feet by thirty-five, 
wattled and plastered, thatched with grass, pulpit 
built with coral stones, and some rou^h forms 
throughout as seats. About 150 assembled in ten 
minutes. One of the teachers gave out a hymn and 
prayed. I addressed them through a Vate man who 
knows Samoan, and he, in conclusion, sang and 
prayed. All were remarkably attentive and orderly. 
Soon after we dismissed, the captain and I were 
led to two separate heaps of yams, taro, sugar-cane, 
cocoa-nuts, covered with a mat or two ; the one was 
a present to him, and the other to me. By and by 
two lads, who had been at Samoa, came each with 
a pig as a present to me ; and presently an old lady 
came along with a cooked fowl and some hot yams in a 
basket, as a present to the captain and myself. This 
old lady, who was dressed in a straw bonnet and a 
Turkey red cotton gown, turned out to be the wife 
of the chief. Meanwhile Mr. Griffin, the second 
officer, was busy on the beach buying pigs and yams 
for the ship. We were pleased to see the great 
change at this place in their demands while bartering. 
Formerly it was all trinkets and tobacco ; now it is 


calico and shirts. Calico, calico, calico, was the 
constant cry. Having filled the two boats, and pro- 
mising to send in again, in the morning, some more 
Manchester goods with which to buy the yams and 
pigs they had still to sell, we said good-bye, and got 
out to the ship again before dark. 

Wednesday, 19th October. — After another day's 
friendly intercourse with the people of Erakor, we 
weighed anchor in the afternoon, and sailed for 
Mare, or Nengone, of the Loyalty Islands. While 
at Eromanga, we heard that a Captain Fletcher and 
a boat's crew, from a sandal- wooding vessel, were 
lately attacked by the natives about " Hat Island," 
at the entrance to Sema, or " Havannah Harbour." 
We made inquiry about it while at Erakor, but could 
not ascertain any account of the affair on which we 
can rely. It is a fact, however, that the natives 
attacked the said party, and mangled some of them 
severely with their tomahawks. 


Sabbath, 23rd October. — Anchored at nine a.m. in a 
roadstead off Waeko, the station of Mr. Jones, on 
the N.W. side of Mare. Soon after the anchor was 
down, Mr. Jones came off in a canoe, baling with 
his boot I The canoe had turned out to be leaky, 
and they could hardly keep her afloat ; but he got 
safe on board, and we were glad to find that he and 
his fellow-labourers on the island were well. About 
4000 people, on the other side of the island, still 


cleave obstinately to their heathenism, but all in the 
districts occupied by the brethren Jones and Creagh 
are professedly Christian. • Their number is about 
3000. Of these, 224 are church members, and 220 
candidates for admission to church fellowship. There 
are eight teachers also, and a number of assistant- 

After our English and Samoan services on board, 
Captain Williams, Mr. Macfarlane, Mr. Baker, and I 
accompanied Mr. Jones to the shore, and there we 
had an afternoon service with the natives. About 
250 were present. Mr. Macfarlane and I addressed 
them through Mr. Jones. What a change, as I 
told them in my address, the gospel has effected 
at Mare ! Instead of seeing them armed savages, 
as they were when I first saw them fourteen years 
ago, with their bodies whitewashed from head to 
foot, and without a rag of clothing, there they were, 
men, women, and children, clean and clothed, most 
of them with books in their hands, singing God's 
praises, following the words read, bowing the head 
in prayer, and listening with deep interest to every 
word we said. The contrast, however, between this 
side of the island and the other is still most affecting. 
There, a cloud of the darkest heathenism still hangs 
over the people. There they still worship the gods 
of their forefathers, fight with each other, eat the 
bodies of the slain, and delight in all manner of 
wickedness. Two of the Christian party, who went 
to preach the gospel to them some time ago, were 
killed by these heathens. This was not so much a 


blow at Christianity, however, as an outburst of 
political revenge on two men who belonged by birth 
to the very tribe with whom that heathen party 
were then at war. They were advised not to go, 
but in the heat of their zeal and devotedness to the 
good cause, they, with some others, went. They 
were recognized, waylaid, and killed, and their 
bodies dragged off to the oven. The rest of the 
party were spared. Once a month, select parties of 
teachers and church members, headed occasionally 
by the missionary, visit that heathen side of the 
island. God's hammer will yet break the rock. 
Light will yet penetrate the darkness. 

Monday, 24th October, — Mr. Creagh arrived from 
his station at Guamha, and immediately after we 
formed ourselves into committee to deliberate on the 
affairs of the mission. The most important thing 
before us was the location of the newly-arrived 
brethren Macfarlane and Baker. After discussing 
the subject, we were unanimous in the opinion, 
that Mr. Macfarlane should be stationed at Wide 
Bay, on the N.W. side of the island of Lifu, and 
Mr. Baker at Mu, on the S.E. side. It was also 
arranged that three of the newly arrived Samoan 
teachers, and one Rarotongan teacher, should be 
left with the brethren Baker and Macfarlane, in 
order to be located by them as soon as they had an 
opportunity of exploring their respective spheres of 



Thursday, 27 th October. — Weighed anchor at six 
o'clock a.m., and taking Mr. Jones with us, and also 
a Nengone teacher and his wife, we made sail for 
the little island called Toka. By ten o'clock a.m. we 
were abreast of the teachers' house, when Captain 
Williams, Mr. Jones, and I made for the shore in the 
whale-boat. There was a heavy sea on, and we were 
in doubt about the opening. A native, seeing our 
difficulty, swam out, and stood as a finger-post on 
the edge of the reef close to the narrow entrance, 
and soon we were inside clear of the breakers. As 
Mr. Jones pays this place a pastoral visit occa- 
sionally in his boat, we had little to do but to give 
the Nengone teacher there, named Mose, his sup- 
plies, and to take off the teacher Solia, who, after 
thirteen years' service, wished to return to Samoa. 

The people on this island number about 100. 
They were more numerous formerly, owing to the 
residence there of refugees from Mare and Lifu, who 
were driven in war, but who have now, in these days 
of peace, gone home. They are a colony from Mare 
and speak the Mare dialect. We saw about fifty of 
them. Nine are church members, twelve are candi- 
dates, and all are nominally Christian. They showed 
some feeling in parting with Solia, and brought a 
small present for the ship. They have a plastered 
chapel, twenty feet by forty, and the settlement is 
further enlivened by the white plastered cottages 


of the chiefs, teacher, and some others of the people. 
The island is a mass of uplifted coral ; it is only a 
few miles in circumference, and some 200 feet high. 
On the beach we observed a quantity of pumice-stone. 
It is washed on shore by the sea, and the natives 
formerly thought it was the dung of the whale ! It 
no doubt comes from the volcano at Tanna. 


With the friendly aid of our living finger-post on 
the edge of the reef, we got safely through the open- 
ing again, and by one o'clock were snugly on board 
out of the spray and plunge of a pull through a 
heavy cross sea. As the wind was strong and fair, 
we made all sail for Lifu, and by four p.m., were off 
Mu, on the S.E. side of the island, where we 
had arranged to place Mr. and Mrs. Baker and 
family, and three of the Samoan teachers. There 
being no anchorage, Captain Williams, Mr. Jones, 
and I again left the ship in the boats, together with 
Messrs. Baker and Macfarlane, and the new teachers. 
A crowd of natives on the beach awaited our arrival, 
and among them we were glad to find the young 
chief Bula, his brother, and two of the teachers. 
The first words, after the first shake of the hand, 
were, "Have you brought us our missionaries?" 
Their joy was unbounded when we pointed to the 
brethren Macfarlane and Baker, and said, " Yes ; 
here they are. Mr. Baker to live here, and Mr. 
Macfarlane on the other side of the island." 


Mr. Jones and I remained on shore for the night, 
to converse with the teachers, arrange for a meeting 
with the people, the landing of the goods, etc., while 
Captain Williams, with Messrs. Baker and Macfar- 
lane, returned to the ship. While conversing with 
the teachers in the course of the evening, they related, 
among other things, a remarkable escape which two 
of our Samoans and the wife and children of a third 
lately had from a watery grave. While crossing to 
Mare, their Canoe was struck by a sea and went 
down, leaving them all swimming. A native tub 
floated from the canoe, and into that one of them, 
named Isaaka, placed the two children, steadied the 
tub with the one hand, and swam with the other. 
Three Lifu men who were with them, soon became 
exhausted, and sank dead. For hours the two 
teachers, and the woman struggled on, and at last 
they were carried by a current to a little island. 
But it was a bold shore, and they could see no 
way of getting up. Here they thought they must 
perish. At last Isaaka said, " Taniela, come here ; 
you steady the tub, and let me throw myself on to 
the next great roller ; if I perish, I perish ; but per- 
haps God will lift me on to that rock up there." 
He threw himself on the next wave, and was 
borne aloft in safety upon the rock. But, on look- 
ing down, he saw that the tub was upset, and the 
children in the sea. Again he courageously jumped 
over, dashed down among them, seized one of the 
children, clasped it to his left breast, threw himself 
on to another roller, and was lifted up, child and all, 


on to a ridge of rock. He threw the child up higher, 
and climbed after it. It seemed dead. He shook the 
little fellow by the heels, sucked his mouth and 
nostrils, and life returned. He then ran off in 
search of natives, got ropes, and all were soon safe 
up with himself, and there they sat down and wept, 
and thanked G-od for their marvellous preservation. 
Isaaka deserves a gold medal. 

Friday, 28th October. — Captain Williams stood in 
again with the ship, manned three boats, and pro- 
ceeded to land the goods. Mr. and Mrs. Baker, and 
family, and Mr. and Mrs. Macfarlane came on shore 
with the first boats, and soon we had a meeting in 
the chapel. The chapel is a stone building, erected 
some years ago by the teachers and people, 114 feet 
by 38. About 600 people were present. The 
brethren Jones, Baker, Macfarlane, and I spoke. 
In my address, which was interpreted by Isaaka, I 
referred to the time when the "John Williams" 
first came to their shores ; of our intercourse with 
their old blind chief Bula ; of his promise to be kind 
to the teachers, and listen to their instructions ; of 
the hope which Mr. Murray and I held out of their 
getting missionaries at a future time to teach them 
the way of the Lord more perfectly; and then I 
added, " This day the promise has been fulfilled. 
You have done your part, we have done ours. Mr. 
and Mrs. Baker are now your missionaries, and may 
the Lord bless you all." 

Visitors continued to arrive every hour from 
various parts of the district, to pay their respects, 


and express their joy. By eleven a.m. on Saturday, 
everything was on shore. Mr. and Mrs. Baker were 
comfortably lodged in a neat plastered six-roomed 
cottage, which the teachers gave np for their resi- 
dence. We bowed the knee, committed onr dear 
friends to God, left them, and pulled out to the 
ship. Mr. Baker has under his care six Samoan 
and Rarotongan teachers, a number of Lifu assist- 
ant-teachers, and a district containing a population 
of about 4000 people, the most of whom have 
abandoned heathenism and become professedly 


Sabbath, 30th October. — At noon we anchored at 
a place called Hepenehe, in the Wide Bay, on the 
N.W. side of Lifu, where we had arranged to locate 
Mr. and Mrs. Macfarlane. Our arrival was the 
occasion of great joy there again. We were in good 
time for the afternoon service, which was held out of 
doors, in front of the teachers' house. The chapel 
was blown down in a gale in March last, but they 
have raised the stone-walls of a new one, and were 
ready for the roof. 

On the following day, the teachers and, I should 
think, 1000 people assembled from the neighbouring 
villages, and here, as at Mr. Baker's station, they 
brought us a present of yams for the ship. In the 
short speech which accompanied their present, they 
said : " We are greatly pleased that we have at 


length got a missionary. We do not know what 
may spring up in our hearts some other day, bnt at 
present there is nothing there but joy." Mr. Mac- 
farlane's goods were soon landed. The willing 
crowd picked up the things from the boat as soon as 
it touched the beach, and trunks, casks, and cases 
flew up to the teachers' house, in at the door, and 
were laid down in whichever of the seven rooms 
Mr. Macfarlane pleased to direct. So rapidly did 
everything go on, that, by the evening, all was 
landed, and Mr. Jones and I had a cup of tea from 
Mrs. Macfarlane in her new abode, at the close of 
her first day of actual missionary life. 

In the division of the island assigned to Mr. 
Macfarlane, he has under his care six Samoan and 
Rarotongan teachers, a number of Lifu assistant 
teachers, and a scattered population of probably 3000 
to 4000 souls. War and cannibalism have for many 
years been laid aside ; most of the people are pro- 
fessedly Christian, our teachers and chapels en- 
circle the island, and never, probably, were first 
missionaries located under more favourable circum- 
stances. But, although the people are nominally 
Christian, they are but a step from heathenism — 
the merest babes in Christian knowledge ; and al- 
though our brethren Macfarlane and Baker have had 
" an abundant entrance," they have still the great 
work to do of translating the Bible, of explaining 
its meaning, and of raising up men qualified to be 
the future pastors and teachers there and in the 
regions beyond. 


The four natives of Lifu, to whom I have already 
referred as being on board onr vessel, now rejoiced 
to find themselves once more on their native shore. 
There is a tale connected with these four young men 
which makes us ashamed of our country. They say 
that they were decoyed from their island by a sandal- 
wooding vessel from Sydney, upwards of three years 
ago. They had gone on board to sell some things, 
were battened down in the hold, and let up on deck 
next day when their island was all but out of sight. 
They were nearly a year on Espirito Santo, cutting 
and cleaning sandal- wood, and were then taken to 
Ascension, of the Caroline group, and sold for pigs, 
yams, and firewood. They were rated according to 
size, age, etc., and fetched from two to five pigs, and 
a proportionable quantity of yams and firewood for 
each man. There were ten of them in all. After a 
time, six managed to run away, and escaped to 
Hong-Kong, where five of them died. The remain- 
ing four might still have been in slavery on Ascen- 
sion, but for the kind help of the American mission- 
aries there, together with Captain Thompson, of the 
whaling- ship " China." The captain bought off 
two of them, and the other two were redeemed, 
partly by their own earnings, and partly by the mis- 
sionary. They were then taken to Honolulu. The 
Rev. C. Damon and others kindly attended to them at 
that place, until Captain Manchester generously took 
them to Rarotonga, there to await the arrival of the 
64 John Williams." One of them speaks English 
pretty well. Mr. Williams, the British consul at 


Samoa, has taken down the deposition of the young 
man, and reported all at the proper quarter. In the 
course of our voyage we traced the name of the 
vessel, and also that of her captain and supercargo. 
The Lifu people had long given up these four young 
men as dead, and their restoration was no small 
addition to the joy occasioned by the arrival of the 
missionaries. Two of them are of high rank in the 
bay where we anchored, and it was affecting to see 
how the people clung to them, listening to their tale, 
and following them wherever they went. 


Tuesday, 1st November. — We parted with Mr. 
and Mrs. Macfarlane at ten a.m., and were imme- 
diately off with a fair wind for Uea. About 
dusk we dropped anchor again in the lagoon off the 
teachers' house, in the settlement of King Whenegay, 
as he is called, in 166° E. long., and 20° S. lat. This 
is one of the loveliest coralline groups which I have 
seen. Hnie is the name of the principal island, a 
long, curved strip of land, thirty miles in length, 
three miles wide in some places, and about 150 feet 
high. Whakaia, about two miles long, is separated 
from it by a narrow strait, and then there are up- 
wards of twenty islets dotting the surface of the 
ocean all around, and forming a beautiful oblong 
lagoon, eighteen miles in length and nine in breadth, 
with anchorage throughout. 

The population may amount to 4000. They are 


settled principally on the large island, and divided 
into two parties, the one in the district called Ve- 
kinie, nnder a king named Pasil, and six tribal chiefs ; 
and the other in the division of the island called 
Fazaue, under King Whenegay, and . seven tribal 
chiefs. Whenegay and his people call the group not 
Uea, but Iai (Eaye). These two parties have not 
fought for some time, and are on speaking terms. 
They keep up two distinct dialects, but understand 
each other. They are a shade or two lighter than 
the Lifu people, but in most of their manners and 
customs are akin to them. They subsist on yams, 
taro, cocoa-nuts, fish, fowls, and pigs. 

Wednesday, 2nd November. — After meeting with 
the teachers on board, hearing their reports, and 
giving them their annual supplies, Captain Williams, 
Mr. Jones, and I proceeded to the shore, and had a 
meeting, with about 200 of the people, in a large 
council-house at Whenegay' s place, which is at pre- 
sent used as a chapel. The size and general appear- 
ance of this house struck me as being one of the best 
specimens of ancient Polynesian royalty which I 
have seen. It is 130 feet long, and 30 feet wide. 
The posts round the sides of the house, close 
to the eaves, are only five feet high, but they are 
about nine feet in circumference, and from them run 
up the rafters, which are great beams four feet 
round. The ridge-pole is supported by a row of 
central pillars. The roof is thatched with grass. 
The back, and ends, and two -thirds of the front, are 
wattled and plastered. The remaining third is open 


in front, and decorated on the outside of each post 
with five carved boards, each having at the top a 
human face, painted red, and as if grinning at an 
enemy. An additional figure projects a few feet in 
front on either side, as the guardian spirits of the 
place, with a herculean wooden spear over their 
heads, pointing to the entrance, through the high 
palisade, a little way in front of the building. 

This house was built by Iokuie, whom I met at 

sea, in company with Captain C , in 1845. He 

is dead, but his son is now king. In my address 
to those assembled in the great house, I reminded 
them of the earnestness with which Iokuie entreated 
us to send teachers to their group of islands, and 
expressed our joy in knowing that many of them had 
abandoned heathenism, and commenced to worship 
the true God, and seek salvation through Jesus 
Christ. Mr. Jones, in his address, told them that 
he had brought them a new teacher from Mare, and 
likewise exhorted them to go on in the way to 
heaven. We have now five teachers at Uea, and five 
preaching stations, at which an aggregate of 1300 
people worship God and listen to his Word every 
Lord's-day. Fourteen are under special instruction 
as candidates for church membership, as soon as 
one of the missionaries from Mare or Lifu can 
arrange to spend a week or two in the group, to aid 
in the formation of a Christian Church, and other 
pastoral duties. This is a fine field for a missionary, 
and one is greatly needed. 

Here, and also at Lifu, Mare, and Aneiteum, I 


had presented to me as many as eighty- six of the 
castaway idol-gods of heathen times: gods of the 
sea, gods of the land, gods- of the plantation, war 
gods, disease-making gods, storm and rain gods, 
etc. I have also received twenty- six more, to be 
taken to some of my brother missionaries, making 
in all 112 of these unmistakeable trophies of the 
power of the gospel of Jesus to overturn idolatry of 
every name, and triumph in every place. 


Thursday, 3rd November. — We left Uea early in 
the morning, bound for Gruamha, Mr. Creagh's sta- 
tion, there to land Mr. Jones, and the supplies of 
Mr. Creagh, and his native teachers. We were close 
in by nine a.m. on Sabbath, when Mr. Jones, Mr. 
Turpie, the first officer, and I went on shore in the 
whale-boat. As we reached the beach, I had a vivid 
recollection of the naked savage crowd Mr. Murray 
and I saw there on my first visit fourteen years ago. 
Then some were painted from head to foot, and all 
were armed with clubs, spears, or tomahawks. Old 
Ieui gave the word of command, when an avenue 
was formed for us to walk up through the motley 
group, to his large round house, where we talked to 
them of Christ, and his peaceful kingdom, and en- 
treated them to abandon heathenism and embrace 
the gospel. But how changed the scene now ! As 
Mr. Jones, Mr. Turpie, and I walked up from the 
boat all was quiet. It was the hour of divine ser- 

L L 


vice, and the people were assembled in the chapel on 
the rising ground a little to the left. We walked 
up to the place, a stone building eighty feet by sixty, 
looked in at the door, and saw that it was filled with 
900 attentive worshippers. Mr. Creagh was in the 
pulpit, and a black precentor stood leading the whole 
in one harmonious song of praise. I felt it quite 
overpowering, as we walked up the aisle, and took 
our places in the missionary's pew. Mr. Creagh 
preached, and as it was their day for administering 
the ordinance of the Lord's Supper, we had the 
further pleasure of uniting, at the close of the 
morning service, with the church of ninety-four 
members, in commemorating the death of Christ. 

In the afternoon we met again with the people. 
Through Mr. Creagh as my interpreter, I addressed 
them, reminding them of the present days of light 
and Christian privilege, compared with the state of 
things which existed when I first saw them, and 
" exhorted them all that with purpose uf heart they 
would cleave unto the Lord." At the close of my 
address, I baptized Sarah Caroline, the infant 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Creagh. Mr. Jones then 
addressed and baptized sixteen of the natives, and 
soon after closed the public services of a day which 
I shall long remember. 

A gale in March last blew down the printing- 
office, but a substantial new one is all but finished, 
and Mr. Creagh hopes soon to have the press at 
work again to proceed with the issues of the books 
of Scripture which he and Mr. Jones are preparing. 


In May last, Mr. Creagh and Mr. Jones had their 
second annual missionary meeting at Gruamha, and 
collected £10 in cash for the London Missionary 
Society — double what it was last year. From the 
stations of the brethren Creagh and Jones we had 
presents for the ship, amounting to upwards of 300 

Tuesday, 8th November. — Left Mare and sailed 
for Aneiteum. Just before leaving, Mr. Creagh 
received the report of a deputation from his church 
members, who had visited one of the heathen dis- 
tricts the day before. They pay them a monthly 
visit directly after the Communion Sabbath. They 
were unusually well received on this occasion, had 
food given to them, and the remark was freely made 
that Christianity was good, and that if their enemy 
received a teacher, they would give up fighting too, 
and have a teacher also. The said "enemy" has 
at length expressed a willingness to have a teacher, 
and Mr. Creagh was on the eve of sending them one. 
This is the party who massacred the crew of the 


Friday, 11th November. — Anchored again at 
Aneiteum. On that day, Saturday, and Monday, we 
were busy taking in water, presents of provisions 
for the ship, and a number of pine spars. Captain 
Williams, with his usual foresight and economy for 
the interests of the ship and the society, procured, 


while there, seven spars, some of them of large 
dimensions, such as will serve for a foreyard, top- 
mast, etc. The natives not only allow Captain 
Williams to select and cut spars without charge, but 
muster in parties of two and three hundred, to carry 
them out of the bush, and take them alongside the 
vessel. This is no mean contribution. Captain 
Williams estimates it on this occasion at £40. 

On the Sabbath I had the pleasure of meeting 
with about 1000 of the Aneiteum people at Mr. 
Geddie's station at the morning service. Many of 
the people from Mr. Inglis' s station were present, 
who had come over on the day previous, with pre- 
sents for the ship, and to aid in getting the spars 
out of the bush. In the afternoon we had a mis- 
sionary prayer-meeting, at which I gave some 
account of our voyage, and in the evening Mr. 
Copeland preached to us on board the " John 

On Monday the 14th we took on board Mr. and 
Mrs. Inglis, and three of the children of Mr. Geddie, 
to proceed in the vessel to England. Mr. and Mrs. 
Inglis revisit their native land, after an absence of 
fifteen years, spent partly in New Zealand, and 
partly on Aneiteum. Mr. Inglis takes with him a 
translation of the New Testament, prepared by Mr. 
Geddie and himself, to be printed in London by the 
British and Foreign Bible Society. He takes with 
him a native also to aid him in the revision of 
the manuscript. At four p.m. we united in prayer 
in the cabin. Committing each other and the 


interests of our voyage to God, parted with Mr. and 
Mrs. Geddie, Mr. and Mrs. Matheson, and Mr. 
Copeland, and were immediately off for our next 
place of call, viz., 


Monday, 12th December. — Sighted Savage Island 
at nine a.m. Instead of approaching it as I did 
eleven years ago, half expecting to hear that the 
teacher was killed, it was delightful now to look 
upon it as a Christian land, and to draw near to it 
anticipating a happy meeting with a Christian 
people. For a period of sixteen years, the powers of 
darkness resisted every effort to obtain an entrance 
for Christianity. It is eleven years now since the 
Savage Islanders at last expressed a willingness to 
receive a Samoan teacher, and from year to year 
the good work has gone on and prospered. 

By two p.m. we were off the station of our 
teacher Samuela, on the south side of the island, 
and Captain Williams, Mr. Inglis, and I proceeded 
in the boats to the shore. Although the sea ran 
high, no fewer than seventeen canoes were launched 
and off to meet us, and, accompanied by this fleet, 
and its happy band of natives, we pulled to the 
landing-place. The first glance at the people in 
their canoes, from the ship's deck, showed a marked 
change since I was here before. Instead of nudity, 
and the long dishevelled hair flying in the wind, or 
fast in a coil between the teeth, all have their hair 


cut short, and, at least, a wrapper, or kilt of some 
sort, from the waist down below the knee. 

We found the teacher Samuela and his family 
well, and living in one of the best teacher's houses I 
have ever seen — quite a palace of a place, eighty feet 
by thirty, divided into seven apartments, well plas- 
tered, finished with doors and Venetians, and fur- 
nished with tables, chairs, sofas, and bedsteads. We 
were delighted also with the size and unusually fine 
workmanship of the chapel. It is ninety feet by 
twenty-four, holds 500 people ; but it is too small, 
and they are about to build a larger one. After 
spending an hour or two here, Captain Williams and 
Mr. Inglis returned to the ship. I remained on 
shore, and arranged to meet them on the following 
day at Alofi, eight miles further on, round to the 

The teacher Amosa soon arrived from his station 
on the south side, and with him and Samuela I spent 
the evening, talking over the affairs of the mission, 
and arranging for the services of the coming day. 
Retired to rest on a nice muslin-curtained bedstead, 
which they kindly spread for me with blanket and 
sheets, luxuries rarely to be met with in a native 
teacher's house; but I had too much to think about 
to get more than a short nap. Soon after midnight 
the natives were all on the move, church members, 
candidates, and others going to the meeting, and 
others catching pigs and fowls to take off for sale to 
the vessel. 

Had family prayer early with the teachers, and 


was off by four a.m., in the moonlight, to walk to 
Alofi. It was heart- stirring at daylight, to hear the 
voice of prayer and praise proceeding from the 
cottages of the natives, as we passed along the road. 
Some had family worship over, and were out, eager to 
get a shake of the hand as I passed. Some were not 
content with the hand or arm, but they must seize 
the leg too, and give it a hearty national snuff or 
smell ! I was thus brought to a hard fast standstill, 
at times, but after a smiling wrestle with the warm- 
hearted people, I got clear, and on along the road 

The natives have completed a good six-feet wide 
road all round the island. It has been partly made, and 
kept in repair, by fines. For theft, and other crimes, 
the chiefs sentence offenders to two, five, ten, or 
even fifty fathoms, of road-making. They fill up the 
spaces between the uneven coral with small stones, 
and level all with a layer of earth or sand. They 
are raising a row of cocoa-nuts on either side of the 
road for a shade. A missionary will find this road 
a great facility to his labours, as it will enable him 
to take a horse all round the island, a distance of 
forty to fifty miles, perhaps. 

The island is well wooded. Of the cultivated 
places along the road, I was especially struck with 
some large sugar-cane plantations, and the canes 
standing erect as high as thirty feet. They support 
them with long poles, which keep them erect, and 
separate the clumps from each other. I observed, 
too, that the cocoa-nuts of the island are unusually 


large. Eighteen inches in circumference is the com- 
mon average of the nut after the husk has been 
taken off. 

About half way I looked in, as I passed, at a 
school-house, just finished, fifty feet by twenty, and 
in the finest style of their workmanship. They have 
five more of these school-houses, at distances, round 
the island, between the five large chapels. 

I was at Alofi by seven a.m. Here I met with 
some of the natives who had been with us at Samoa, 
was besieged again by the hand-shakers, but soon 
got into the teachers' house — a fine building that is, 
too, even more so than the one I saw the day before. 
Here I met with the other three teachers, viz., 
Paulo, Paula, and Sakaio, and commenced the im- 
portant, but very difficult work of examining candi- 
dates for admission to the church. The teachers 
had evidently been careful in the selection of them, 
and out of those proposed from the five stations, we 
decided on receiving thirty-one men and nineteen 
women. Those who were formed into a church last 
year have all remained stedfast, and, with the addi- 
tion of those just named, there is an aggregate of 
102 of the Savage Islanders in church fellowship. 
After baptizing the newly-admitted members, we all 
united in commemorating the death of Christ. 

After the communion I met again with the five 
teachers, gave them their annual supplies, and talked 
over a variety of matters. Arranged that Paula, 
whose wife died some time ago, and who is aged 
and inefficient, should return to Samoa, and that the 


Samoan teacher Elia take his place. Supplied them 
with copies of the commentary on the Gospel of 
Matthew in the Samoan dialect, and left four thou- 
sand copies of a revised hymn and Scripture lesson 
book in the Savage Island dialect — the paper for 
printing which was kindly furnished by the London 
Religious Tract Society. 

The teachers handed me a manuscript of a trans- 
lation of the Gospel of Mark, in the dialect of Savage 
Island, with a request to print it at Samoa if ap- 
proved by us. It was translated by Paulo, who has 
been ten years on the island, and subsequently all 
the teachers met in committee, and revised the 
manuscript. I said they might go on with Matthew 
next. Of course they translate from the Samoan 
version. They will exert themselves, I have no 
doubt, to do it well, and, although a translation of a 
translation, and by native teachers, the manuscript 
may be of much service to missionaries, who, I trust, 
will ere long be sent forth to this island.* 

The population may be set down at 4300. All 
are now Christian, with the exception of some ten, 
who still stand aloof. The opinion is universal all 
over the island, that there is now an increase of the 
population. The women are more numerous than 
the men, and we were all struck with the number of 

* The manuscript of the Gospel of Mark, just referred to, 
has been committed to my brother missionary, Mr. Pratt, to be 
revised and prepared for the press by him, together with the aid 
of one of the Savage Islanders, now in the Mission Seminary 
at Malua. 


children to be seen compared with many other 
islands. There was a fearful destruction of children 
in the days of heathenism, principally before birth. 
The climate is remarkably healthy. We have found 
this nniversal with the low coral formations. It is 
on the high volcanic islands where our teachers and 
missionaries have suffered so much from fever and 

The teachers said the chiefs wished to know how 
they could obtain a protectorate from the British 
Government. I said it was not likely that Britain 
would grant their request ; still it could do no harm 
to make known their wishes, only they must do it 
not through the missionaries, but through some of 
H. B. M.'s official representatives — say, the British 
consul at Samoa, or the commander of any of 
H.B.M.'s ships which may touch at the island. 

The " John Williams" was off the settlement at 
Alofi all day, and the boats made five trips to the 
shore, taking off arrow-root, pigs, fowls, yams, 
teachers' parcels, etc. The arrow-root amounted to 
upwards of 2000 lbs., and is the proceeds of the sale 
of books. 1540 yams, ten pigs, and forty fowls 
were a present from the people to the " John Wil- 
liams,' ' and, in addition, Mr. Griffin, the second 
officer, bought about 50 pigs and 120 fowls for 
the vessel. I was glad also to find that the de- 
mand from Mr. Griffin was not tobacco, but ex- 
clusively such useful articles as calico, shirts, knives, 
hatchets, etc. 

In the afternoon we had a public meeting in the 


chapel. It is 100 feet long by 35, and is one of 
the finest native-built chapels I have seen in the 
South Seas. It was closely packed with a clean, 
decently-clothed, and attentive audience. Captain 
Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Inglis, the Misses Geddie, 
and others from the ship, were also present. In- 
cluding those on the verandahs, on either side of the 
chapel, there were at least 1100 present. Mr. Inglis 
and I addressed them through the teachers, as inter- 
preters, and they also conducted the singing and 
devotional parts of the service. Such a sight, and 
in such a place, made it a season of joy to all of us 
which we shall never forget. 

We were again on board ship and off for Samoa 
before dark. I repeatedly wished, in the course of 
this voyage, that I had another body to dispose of, 
and give up to labour in the cause of Christ ; but I 
never felt this to such an extent as I did on leaving 
that shore of Savage Island, covered with a loving, 
grateful people, all eager for a shake of the hand, 
and to express, as best they could, their unfeigned 
regard. And these are the children of the men 
who rushed out upon our great navigator Cook 
"like wild boars," and who, for sixty years after 
his time, kept to the determination that no stranger 
should ever live on their island. They repeatedly 
rushed out upon parties of white men as they did 
upon Captain Cook, and were sometimes fired upon. 
Natives of other islands, who were drifted there in 
distress, whether from Tonga, or Samoa, or else- 
where, were invariably killed. Any of their own 


people who went away in a ship, and came back, 
were killed ; and all this was occasioned by a dread 
of the introduction of disease. For years, too, 
after they began to venture out to ships, they 
would not immediately use anything obtained, but 
hung it up in the bush in quarantine for weeks. 

Eleven years ago, the exclusive system, against 
which we had so long been struggling, gave way, 
and the wish was formally made known to us that 
Samoan teachers would be received ; and, now, no- 
thing would be more grateful to them than the arrival 
of white missionaries. Soon may God grant them 
the desire of their hearts ! Nor is the great change 
confined to their reception of Christianity as a reli- 
gious system, but, as is manifest from what I have 
already said, the whole framework of their political 
and social life is changed. Their wars, and more 
clandestine lurking for each other's blood, are ended. 
Old grievances are laid aside, and free intercourse is 
the rule all over the island. The pig- sty dwellings 
are fast giving way to the Samoan model of large 
houses, well spread with mats. Instead of destroying 
all the plantations and fruit-trees of a person who 
dies, that they might go with him, all is now spared, 
and the consequence is an abundance of food such 
as they never had in the days of heathenism. In- 
stead of living in single families, and migrating here 
and there in the bush, the five teachers' stations 
which encircle the island are fast becoming the 
nuclei of settled villages, with magistrates and 
laws ; and the change of the whole state of affairs 


is as amazing to the people themselves as it is to a 
stranger. I have never seen a more inviting field of 
missionary labour. Happy the men who are sent to 
cultivate it ! 

In thus describing the triumphs of the gospel on 
these once savage shores, I have great pleasure also 
in giving publicity to the fact, that the young men 
and women in the Bible-classes connected with the 
United Presbyterian Church, Campbeltown, Scotland, 
under the pastoral care of the Rev. Dr. Boyd, have 
contributed towards the support of two teachers on 
that island for upwards of ten years. They have 
doubtless often prayed as well for that heathen land, 
and who can tell to what a large extent the success 
over which we now rejoice is to be traced to the 
" effectual fervent" prayers of these friends of mis- 
sions ! May they continue the good work, and may 
many others imitate their praiseworthy example. 


Owing to the amount of business we had to do 
in the Westward Islands, together with hindrances 
from contrary winds, the time allotted for our 
missionary cruise expired, without our being able to 
call at Fakaafo, as we had hoped to do when we left 
Samoa. This little coral island is in 171° W. long, 
and 9° 22' S. lat. It is the principal of three, which 
are inhabited in that group, called Union Group, 
or by the natives, Tokelau. The entire population 
of the three islands may not exceed 600. 


The natives there say that men had their origin 
in a small stone on Fakaafo. The stone became 
changed into a man. After a time he thought of 
making a woman. This he did by collecting a 
quantity of earth, and forming an earth model on 
the ground. He made the head, body, arms, and 
legs all of earth, then took out a rib from his left 
side and thrust it inside of the earth model, when 
suddenly the earth became alive, and up started a 
woman on her feet. He called her Ivi (Eevee), or 
rib, he took her to be his wife, and from them sprang 
the race of men.* 

The government is monarchical, and the king, 
Tui Tokelau, is high priest as well. There are three 
families from which the king is selected, and they 
always select an aged man. They say that a young 
man is a bad ruler, and that mature age is essential 
to the office. They are a quiet people, and rarely 

Their great god is called Tui Tokelau, or king of 
Tokelau. He is supposed to be embodied in a stone, 
which is carefully wrapped up with fine mats, and 
never seen by any one but the king, and that only 
once a year, when the decayed mats are stripped off 
and thrown away. In sickness, offerings of fine 
mats are taken and rolled round the sacred stone, 
and thus it gets busked up to a prodigious size ; 

* This reminds us of Prometheus and his clay models 
(etKwia), but it is more interesting still as a manifest frag- 
ment of the Divine doings as recorded in the Mosaic cos- 


but as the idol is exposed to tlie weather out of 
doors, night and day, the mats soon rot. No one 
dares to appropriate what has been offered to the 
god, and hence, the old mats, as they are taken 
off, are heaped in a place by themselves, and 
allowed to rot.* Before the idol is its house, or 
temple, a great thatched shed, which may hold some 
400 people. Once a year, viz., about the month of 
May, a whole month is devoted to the worship of 
the god. All work is then laid aside. Great quan- 
tities of food are prepared. The people assemble 
from the three islands, pray for life and health and 
a plentiful supply of fish and cocoa-nuts. They 
have dancing too, men with men, and women with 
women, and light up the temple all the night over 
during the month with what they call " light in 
honour of the god." 

No fire is allowed to be kindled at night in the 
houses of the people all the year round. It is 

* How remarkably this compares with what the Earl of 
Roden says of a stone idol, in his " Progress of the Reformation 
in Ireland :" " In the south island, in the house of a man named 
Monigan, a stone idol, called in the Irish 'Neevougi,' has been 
from time immemorial religiously preserved and worshipped. 
This god resembles in appearance a thick roll of home-spun 
flannel, which arises from the custom of dedicating a dress of 
that material to it whenever its aid is sought ; this is sewn on 
by an old woman, its priestess, whose peculiar care it is. Of 
the early history of this idol, no authentic information can be 
procured, but its power is believed to be immense ; they pray 
to it in time of sickness ; it is invoked when a storm is desired 
to dash some hapless ship upon their coast ; and, again, the 
exercise of its power is solicited in calming the angry waves, to 
admit of fishing or visiting the mainland." 


sacred to the god, and so, after sundown, they sit 
and chat in the dark. There are only two excep- 
tions to the rule : 1st, fire to cook fish taken in 
the night, but then it must not be taken to their 
houses, only to the cooking-house ; and, 2nd, a light 
is allowed at night in a house where there happens 
to be a confinement. 

The origin of fire they trace to Mafuike, but, un- 
like the Mafuike of the mythology of some other 
islands, this was an old blind lady. Talanga went 
down to her in her lower regions, and asked her to 
give him some of her fire. She obstinately refused 
until he threatened to kill her, and then she yielded. 
With the fire he made her say what fish were to be 
cooked with it, and what were still to be eaten raw ; 
and then began the time of cooking food. 

Polygamy prevails. Cocoa-nuts and fish form 
the prevailing food of the people. There are no 
fowls or pigs there, but swarms of rats. Boys at 
sport play at catching rats. They who catch the 
most win the game. Canoes are made from a single 
log hollowed out. They are now getting iron tools, 
but formerly they used shell hatchets. They some- 
times burned the trunk of a tree to make it fall, but 
as the fire occasionally ran up the heart of a tree 
and destroyed it all, they usually cut away at the 
trunk with their shell hatchets, day after day, until 
it fell. It took ten, fifteen, and thirty days to fell a 
tree. Another plan was to dig down and cut the 
roots. They show some ingenuity in the manufac- 
ture of buckets with lids. They are made by hollow- 


ing out a solid block of wood. They do it by 

When a ship is seen, they consult the king and 
high priest whether they shall go out to it. He 
decides for or against. If they go they do so with 
great fear, praying all the way that they may be 
preserved alive, and free from harm. When a party 
goes, the king will probably go with them. When 
he goes, one sits a little before him, holding up a 
cocoa-nut leaflet, as a sort of protecting flag, or 
charm, and the king sits immediately behind, pray- 
ing all the while, as the rest paddle, that they may 
be kept from harm. A party of them once went 
out to visit a ship, and when near the vessel, one of 
their number was shot dead, all the rest fled to the 
shore. They supposed that the people in the ship 
thought they had gone out to fight. 

Of old they thought a foreign ship something 
unearthly, and the white crew sailing gods from 
some region of spirits. The fire burning in their 
inside, and sending forth volumes of smoke (tobacco 
smoke) seemed superhuman, and the guns, belch- 
ing out fire and smoke and " stones," seemed to be 
no work of man. If any one died about the time 
a vessel had been seen, they concluded that the 
party of sailing gods had come for his spirit, and 
when they happened to see any on board ship with 
their hair cut short, they supposed they were some 
of the spirits but lately received. 

Apart from the god Tui Tokelau, there is a 
particular disease-making god, whose priest receives 



offerings from the sick of fine mats. When the 
friends of a sick man take a present to the priest, 
he says he will pray to the god for recovery ; and 
then he goes to the sick person and anoints with 
oil the part affected. He uses no particular oil. 
When he sits down, he calls some one of the family 
to hand him some oil, and dipping his hand in the 
cup, passes it gently over the part two or three 
times. No medicines are used for the sick. If the 
body is hot, they go and lie down in cold water ; 
if cold, kindle a fire and warm themselves. 

After death, the friends of the deceased are 
anxious to know the cause of his death. They go, 
with a present, to the priest, and beg him to get the 
dead man to speak, and confess the sins which 
caused his death. The priest may be distant from 
the dead body, but he pretends to summon the spirit, 
and to have it within him. He speaks in his usual 
tone, and tells him to say before them all what he 
did to cause his death. Then he (the priest) whines 
out, in a weak, faltering voice, a reply, as if from the 
spirit of the departed, confessing that he stole cocoa- 
nuts from such a place ; or, that he fished at some 
particular spot forbidden by the king ; or, that he 
ate the fish which was the incarnation of his family 
god. As the priest whines out something of this 
sort, he manages to squeeze out some tears, and sob 
and cry over it ! The friends of the departed feel 
relieved to know the cause, get up, and go home. 

At death, one will say to his friends, " I'm going 
to the moon — think of me as being there." An- 


other will say, " I'm going to be a star ;" and men- 
tions the particular part of the heavens where they 
are to look for him. Another will say, " I shan't go 
away; I shall remain in the grave, and be here 
with yon." Thus they seem to think they have only 
to choose where their disembodied spirits are to go 
after death.* They tell of a Tokelau man who went 
up to the moon, and have their tale, also, of " the 
man in the moon" They say, too, that the moon 
is the special residence of the kings and priests 
of Tokelau. The stars they believe to be the spirits 
of the departed. When the full moon begins to 
wane, they suppose that it is being eaten by the in- 
habitants of the region. From the new moon until 
the full they consider that the food is growing 
again. An eclipse of the moon is thought to be 
some sudden calamity, destroying the food of the 
departed kings, and occasions special concern ; and 
prayers and a meat-offering of grated cocoa-nut 
are immediately presented to their great god, Tui 
Tokelau, to avert the evil. As the eclipse passes off, 
they think it is all owing to their prayers. 

Two young men belonging to Fakaafo, who 

* They believe, however, that there are certain evil spirits 
always on the watch for human beings, and that, if any are 
caught, their souls are dragged up and down the universe for 
ever, as the slaves of these demons, and never find a resting- 
place. Hence it is a common saying at Tokelau, " Take care of 
the soul, it lives for ever ; never mind the body, it dies and rots 
in the grave." And hence, too, a man would rather die than go 
at night to certain haunted spots, where he thinks it probable 
he might be seized by one of these evil spirits. 


had long been in Samoa, were taken there lately. 
One of them lived with us at Malua for three 
years ; was a member of the church ; knew the 
Samoan language well, and took with him the entire 
Bible, and all the books printed in the Samoan 
dialect. We cherish the hope that, if his life is 
spared, he may act as a Christian teacher to his 
countrymen, and prepare the way for other teachers. 
From this young man, and also from the other, I 
received some curious mythological and other frag- 
ments, of which the above are a specimen. 




In summing up our progress in these islands just 
visited, where twenty years ago we had not a single 
missionary, or a single convert from heathenism, 
and at the very entrance to which John Williams 
then fell, we find that out of a population, in . the 
twelve islands which we now occupy, of about 65,500 
souls, we have 19,743 who have renounced hea- 
thenism, and are professedly Christian. Of these 
there are 645 church members, and 689 who are 
candidates for admission to the church. And there 
are now labouring among them ten European mis- 
sionaries, and 231 native teachers and assistants. 
Three printing-presses, also, are at work, especially 
devoted to the Papuan vernacular of the respective 

While in the New Hebrides and Loyalty Islands, 
I submitted to the missionaries there a plan, which 
had occurred to us in Samoa, for such a change in 
the future course of the "John Williams" as shall 
enable her to visit these Westward Islands twice in 
the course of the year, instead of once, so as to 
enable our brethren there to go on extending their 
labours to the heathen islands to the north. They 


warmly entered into the scheme, and united with us 
in submitting it to the consideration of missionaries 
in the Eastward Islands, and of the Directors in 
London, that the facilities for extension which it will 
furnish may soon be enjoyed. May our brethren be 
blessed in training up a native agency, and in 
speedily locating them in the regions beyond, where 
there is a great harvest of souls yet to be reaped in 
the name of the Lord Jesus. 

But the great want in the South Sea Islands, at 
the present day, is more European missionaries. 
Some of the older stations need reinforcement, and 
wherever native teachers are located in the re- 
gions beyond, which are every year being thrown 
open, it is essential that European missionaries go 
along with them to translate the Bible, to instruct 
and counsel, to maintain unity of action, and to aid 
in a variety of ways those valuable agents in their 
struggles with their more civilized enemies, and 
advocates of a corrupted Christianity. For the 
present wants of Polynesia, the number of our mis- 
sionaries already there should be doubled. The 
Church has done much for the last fifty years ; but 
she must do more still, for the conversion of the 
world. Yes ; we maintain that the Church has yet 
to arise to the full development of the ample resources 
which she actually has for this great object, and 
which, if still withheld, will eat as a cankerworm at 
home prosperity, and retard, from year to year, the 
cause of Christ in the world. May the Divine 
Spirit be poured out on the Churches of Christen- 

conclusion: 535 

doin, that all may see, and consider, and strive at 
once to pay the debt of obedience which they owe 
to the Savionr, and then the men and the means 
will be forthcoming, not only to carry the gospel 
to every island in the Pacific, but to publish it to 
all the world, and to every creature of its heathen 

On the 17th of December the "John Williams'' 
anchored again at Upolu, Samoa, and after taking 
on board Mrs. Turner and our four children, Mrs. 
Stallworthy and eight children, and other five children 
of the missionaries, we left the Samoan group on the 
16th of January. Proceeding eastward, we called 
at Aitutaki, Rarotonga, Mangaia, Tahiti, Huahine, 
and Raiatea, and were deeply interested in all we 
saw at these stations of the Society, about which 
volumes have been written. At Rarotonga Mr. and 
Mrs. George Gill and family joined our party. For 
some weeks, when we were about the Tahitian 
Islands, we were greatly afflicted with a malignant 
fever which appeared among us, and carried off three 
of Mrs. Stallworthy' s children. As other two of her 
children were dangerously ill, she remained at 
Raiatea for a time, intending to prosecute her 
voyage to England as soon as practicable, in com- 
pany with Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm, of the mission 

From Raiatea we had a run of 110 days round 
Cape Horn, and up the Atlantic, and on the 30th 
of June once more arrived in London, after an 
absence of nineteen years and eleven months, and 


after having sailed upwards of fifty thousand miles 
in advancing the cause of Christ. To his name be 
all the praise, and to Him may our lives still be 
devoted, even unto death. 

As to the future I need not enlarge. I will only 
add, that if spared to carry through the press the 
Samoan Bible, and the commentaries to which I 
have already referred, my desire is then to return to 
the South Sea Islands. The sacrifice, or rather the 
offering, which I laid on the missionary altar twenty- 
five years ago, is there still, and I have never had 
the shadow of a wish to take it down. My prayer 
to God is, that it may remain there until death, and 
that when the days of my missionary service are 
ended, my next engagements may be the hallowed 
employments of God's servants in a better world. 


For several years I have been in the habit of noting daily the 
readings of the barometer and thermometer, and other meteorolo- 
gical occurrences, and have drawn out the following table, as 
such information from Central Polynesia may, in some quarters, 
still be a desideratum. 

Let me further add, that the position of the barometer is 
twenty feet above the level of the sea. It is an instrument from 
the well-known house of " Gardner, Glasgow. " 

The thermometer has been tested by one of Gardner's ; it is 
fixed in a window-sash fronting the south, and is always shaded. 

Between the months of December and April, we were always 
in dread of a cyclone if we saw the barometer falling and the 
wind setting in from the north. Hardly a year passed without 
our hearing of one of these gales in our neighbourhood. Now 
and then we got a touch of the outer circle, and occasionally had 
one tearing everything to pieces in its way through the middle 
of the group. Their course is generally towards E.S.E. In 
April, 1850, one swept right over the centre of Upolu; and 
in April, 1855, another " skinned," as the natives called it, 
everything along the east end of Upolu. Up to the time I left, 
there had not been another. During the one of April, 1850, the 
barometer fell to 27*15. 

During the seven years referred to in the table, we had 
twenty-three earthquakes. They were not confined to any par- 
ticular time of the year, but were principally between the months 
of February and August. Shocks in general double, and merely 
a slight tremulous horizontal motion, from E. to W. or from 
N. to S. Occasionally they gave a sharper jerk, and created 
alarm for a few seconds ; but there is neither fact nor tradition 
of anything which ever threw clown houses or endangered life. 




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While voyaging, and as other opportunities offered, I have 
collected specimens of the dialects spoken in the Pacific. The 
following table contains some notes and specimens, from my 
jottings and vocabularies, which may be of use to many who are 
now deeply interested in the study of ethnography. (See Table, 
" A Comparative View of the Polynesian Dialects") 



Adopted children, 179. 

Adultery, punishment of, 86, 185, 285, 

310, 426. 
Adult years, customs connected with, 

Adzes, 262. 
Ambush, 311. 
Amusements, 210, 495. 
Aname, ^island of Aneiteum, 363, 435, 

Anderson, Mr. Christopher, 477. 
Aneiteum, New Hebrides, 51, 363, 365, 

433, 456, 515. 
Anointing, 311. 
Armlets, 81, 314, 393. 
Armour, 81, 300, 311, 469. 
Arms, a disgrace to throw down, 44. 
Arrows, 311. 
Arrow-root, 277. 

Articles of manufacture in Samoa, 271. 
Attempts to kill the missionaries, 22, 

26, 30, 33. 
Ava, an intoxicating draught, 85, 123, 

197, 394. 
Avengers of blood, 462. 


Backslider, a, reclaimed, 144, 145. 

Baker, Kev. W., 473, 504, 507. 

Baldness, 312. 

Banian-tree, the, sacred at Tanna, 88. 

Barb for spears, 276. 

Barff, Eev. C, 99. 

Baskets, 275. 

Bat, tradition respecting, 251. 

Battle, attempt to mediate in, 18. 

Beds, 259, 313. 

Begging habits, 312. 

Bible Society, British and Foreign, 

Bible, Samoan, with marginal refer- 
ences, 171. 

Birth, customs at, 174, 178, 423. 

Bishops, missionary, 120. 

Boarding-schools, 63, 164. 

Boats, native built, 268. 

Books, sold to the natives, 170, 171. 

Bones, singular use of, 393. 

Bones, exhumed, 313. 

Bonnets, tortoise-shell, 207. 

Bougainville, M., at Samoa, 97. 

Boxing and fencing, 212. 

Boy killed in declaring war, 41. 

Boyd, Rev. Dr., Campbeltown, 525. 

Bracelets, 314. 

Branches, green, of peace, 314. 

Bread-fruit, 193. 

" Brigand," attack on the, 404. 

Brig "Highlander," of HobartTown,62. 

Bristol, a native of, 397. 

Britannia Islands, 510. 

"British Sovereign," massacre of the 
crew of, 447. 

Brother, use of the term, 314. 

Brother's widow, custom respecting, 

Buffoons, court, 211. 

Bullen, Rev. T., 471. 

Burial, 93, 229, 315, 365, 434, 450. 

Burning devices in the skin, 79. 



Burning refuse of food by disease- 
makers, 89 — 91. 
Burnings for the dead, 232, 315. 
Burying alive, 45/). 
Buzacott, Bey. A., 456. 


Caledonia, New, 412, 416. 

" Camden," missionary brig, 490. 

Campbeltown U. P. church, 525. 

Candidates for church fellowship, 156. 

Cannibalism, 83, 194, 358, 389, 427. 

Canoes, and canoe-builders, 266. 

" Cape Packet," massacre of crew of, 


Captain B , shameful conduct of, 9. 

Captain Ebril, of the brig " Star," 412. 
Captain L and the Lifu teachers, 

" Caroline," of Sydney, attack on the, 

Carpenters, house, 261. 
Carpenters, canoe and boat, 267. 
Caves for the dead, 495. 
Chanting in canoes, 269. 
Chastity, 184. 
Children, notices respecting, 174, 175, 

177, 469, 494. 
Chisholm, Rev. A., 535. 
Chiefs, 116, 161, 280, 343, 348, 426, 

Christ's second coming predicted by an 

impostor, 107. 
Church members, 110, 156. 
Cinnet, 275. 
Circumcision, 87, 177, 316, 360, 371, 

424, 495. 
Classes at the mission seminary, 130, 

Cleanliness, 204. 
Cloth, native, 203. 
Clothing, 202, 316, 339, 343, 393, 398, 

469, 495. 
Cock-crowing, 316. 
Cocoa-nut oil, 109, 277. 
Cocoa-nut water, 196. 
Combs, 206, 276. 

Commercial advances, 109, 208. 
Commentaries in the Samoan dialect, 

Committees for Scripture revision, 168. 
Common interest in family property, 

Comparison of Polynesian dialects. — See 

Concert, spirit, 428. 
Concubinage, 189. 
Constellations, 89. 
Contributions, missionary, 110, 160» 

515, 522. 
Conversions, 142. 
Convicts, runaway, from Norfolk Island, 

Cook, Captain, notices respecting, 70, 

75, 381, 412. 
Cooking with hot stones, 195. 
Co-operation of missionaries, 118. 
Copeland, Rev. J., 474, 516. 
Coral reefs, 96. 
Cosmogony, 244, 324. 
Council to kill the missionaries, 32. 
Court buffoons, 211. 
Crcagh, Rev. S. M., 502, 513. 
Croker, Captain, at Eromanga, 486. 
Cups, sacred, 241. 
Curses, 293, 313, 318. 
Cuttings and burnings, for ornament 

79, 319, 394. 
Cyclones, 536. 


Damon, Rev. C, 509. 

Dancing, 210, 320. 

Daughters, 321. 

Death and burial, 227, 321, 365, 425, 

434, 470, 495. 
Death, the Christian in, 151, 165. 
Death, dread of, 145. 
Death, heathen notions as to the cause 

of, 530. 
Deluge, the, 249. 
Departure from England, 1. 
Dialects of Polynesia, 83, 494, 539. 
Disease-makers, 18, 89, 394, 424. 



Diseases, 24, 28, 92, 220, 224, 394, 424, 

462, 466. 
Disgrace, a, to throw away a club, 45. 
District, extent of one, 112, 155. 
Divorce, 190. 

Doctors, 113, 221, 223, 401. 
Doweries, 187, 322. 
Dress at festivals, 205. 
Drill, native, used in the Pacific, 274. 
Drink-offerings, 194, 200, 394. 
Drinking customs, 123. 
Drummond, Rev. George, 471. 
Dust from the Tanna volcano, 74. 
Dutch expedition in 1772, 97. 
Duties, missionary, 113, 133 — 135, 163, 
Duties of native teachers, 139, 143, 163. 


Earrings, tortoise shell, 79. 

Ears cut off, 286, 324. 

Earth, its formation, 324, 468. 

Earthquakes, 536. 

Eating, allusions to, 325. 

Edwards, Captain, 492. 

Eclipses, notions respecting, 531. 

Egypt, ancient, 79, 262, 288. 

" Elizabeth " barque, wreck of, 444. 

Elopements, 188. 

Embalming, 231. 

Eromanga, 3, 378, 383, 439, 443, 485, 

Error respecting coral reefs, 96. 
Erskine, Captain J. E., 444. 
Escape from Tanna, 65, 66. 
Ethnological papers, 173. 
Examination of schools, 164. 
Exchange of property, 178, 179. 
Exports at Samoa, 109, 277. 
Eyes put out for adultery, etc., 286, 



Fabulous fights, 250. 

Fakaafo, Tokelau group, 525. 

Famine, 193, 465. 

Fans, 275. 

False Christs in Samoa, 106. 

Fastings, 326, 427. 

Fencing, 212. 

Festivals, marriage, etc., 85, 178, 186, 

Fight, missionaries urged to, 42. 
Fig-trees, 87. 

Fire, origin of, 252—255, 528. 
Fire-offerings to gods, 260. 
Fire-signs, 326. 
Fire used in felling trees, 426. 
First-fruits presented to the gods, 88, 

Fishing and fishing-nets, 213, 271. 
Fish-hook of pearl- shell, 273. 
Food, 87, 192, 424. 
Forbidden food, 196. 
Formality instead of true religion, 109, 

Fletcher, Captain, 500. 
Fly-flappers, 288. 
French navigators, 97. 
Futuna, New Hebrides, 361, 477. 
Future state, 235. 


Games, 212. 

Garments, 339. 

Geddie, Rev. J., 431, 451, 455, 474, 

Genealogies, 328. 
Gifts, 329. 
Gill, Rev. G., 535. 
Gill, Rev. W., 445, 458. 
Girdle of leaves, 80. 
Girls' school, 12. 

Gods, 8£ 238, 242, 360, 427, 496, 529. 
Gods, offerings to, 85, 174, 194. 
Gods of individuals, how known, 174. 
Gods, things sacred to them, 196. 
Gordon, Rev. G. N., 485—497. 
Government and laws, 279, 284. 
Grammar and vocabulary of the Samoan 

dialect, 97. 
Graves, 93, 230, 450, 495. 
Griffin, Mr. F., 479. 
Groves, sacred, 88, 240, 329, 371. 
Gunpowder, fearful explosion of, at 

Lifu, 407. 



Hades, 235, 371, 395, 470. 
Hair, 77, 205, 319, 329, 401. 
Hanging in suicide, 330. 
Hardie, Eev. C, 7, 124, 149. 
Harris, Mr. J., massacre of, 2, 486, etc. 
Heads of children, altered form of, 175. 
Heads of the enemy, 301, 331. 
Heathenism, tendency of, 94. 
Healths and toasts, 394. 
Heathen opposition, 101. 
Heavens, raising of, 245. 
Heavens, intercourse with, 246. 
Heroes, 301. 
Hieroglyphic taboo, 294. 
" Highlander" brig, 62. 
High priest, 239, 241. 
Hindrances to Christianity in Samoa, 

Hobart Town brig " Highlander," 62. 
Hooping-cough, 222. 
Hospitality, 198, 331. 
Hostile state of the Tannese, 15, 17, 82. 
Hot ground, 71, 75. 
Hot springs, 71. 
Household gods, 239. 


Idol at Savage Island, 470. 
Ignorance of the Tannese, 11. 
Illegitimate children, 469. 
Illustrations of Scripture, 191, 303, 310. 
Imports at Samoa, 110, 278. 
Imprecations, 293. 
Incarnation of the gods, 238, 212. 
Infants and infancy, 174, 219, 423. 
Infanticide, 175, 394, 450, 494. 
Influenza, 222. 

Inglis, Rev. J., 474, 483, 485. 
Institution for native teachers, 124, 306. 
Intoxicating kava, 85, 123. 
Isle of Pines, 399, 412, 417. 
Itinerating, missionary, 14, 20, 26. 


Jonah, the prophet, 496. 
Jones, Rev. J., 500—516. 

" John Williams" missionary barque, 

356, etc. 
Johnston, Henry, of Londonderry, 439. 


Kangaroo, 87. 

Kava, or intoxicating draught, 85, 123, 

197, 394. 
Kawas, battle stone, 81. 
Kidnapping of natives, 509. 
Kings, 287, 331, 342, 348, 469, 526, 

Kinnesipathy, 223. 
Kitto, Rev. Dr., 252, 255, 347. 
Kneeling, 332. 
" Knox, John," mission schooner, 477, 



La Perouse, M., at Samoa, 98. 
Labour, mode of obtaining, 492. 
Land, owners of, 284. 
Langle, M. de, massacre of, 97. 
Laws and government, 279, 284. 
Leaf-girdles, 80. 
Leg ornaments, 332. 
Lifu, Loyalty Islands, 397, 400, 459, 

Lightning, 296. 
Liquors, intoxicating, 85, 196. 
Livingstone, Rev. Dr., 79. 
Longevity, 220. 
Lots, 214. 

Lucas, Captain, 62 — 68. 
Lundie, George, 471. 


Macfarlanc, Rev. S., 473, 502, 508. 

Mair, Captain, 493. 

Mama mission seminary, 124. 

Mammon, 333. 

Man, his origin, 245, 401, 469, 496. 

Manchester, Captain, 509. 

Manslayer, refuge for, 334. 

Mare, Loyalty Islands, 401, 421, 463, 

Marks on the body, 349. 
Matheson, Rev. Mr., 474, 517. 



Manufacture, articles of, 271. 
Marriages, 185—189, 282. 
Massacre of M. de Langle and others, 97. 
Massacre of Williams and Harris, 2, 

Massacres, various, 17, 99, 285, 363, 

370, 399, 404, 406, 412, 446, 447, 

462, 478, 483, 492. 
Mats, fine, 203, 282. 
Meals, 199. 

Medical knowledge, value of, 113. 
Medicines, 223. 
Meetings, public, 287. 
Meteorological register, 537. 
Migratory habits of the natives, 494. 
MiUar, Eev. R, 130. 
Millennium of an impostor, 107. 
Mills, Eev. W., 68, 357. 
Mission business, 119. 
Mission, commencement of a, 425. 
Mission seminary, 124. 
Missionary duties, 113, 133—135, 163. 
Missionary aid to white men in distress, 

374, 380. 
Missionary voyages, 356, 431, 473. 
Missionaries at Samoa, 110. 
Missionaries, co-operation of, 118. 
Missionaries, more wanted, 534. 
Moon, traditions respecting, 247, 530. 
Morgan, Captain E. C, 314 — 435, 491. 
Mortality, 176, 219. 
Mourning, 77, 229, 335, 470. 
Murray, Eev. A. W., 144, 171, 356, 

etc., 458. 
Music and musical instruments, 211, 

337, 345, 470. 
Mythological traditions, 244. 


Naked and not ashamed, 335, 398. 

Names, 335. 

Narratives of native conversions, 142 — 

Native teachers, 110, 121, 139, 140, 

152, 163. 
Native teachers, institution for training, 


Native teachers, how supported, 158 — 

Natives of various islands, 127. 
Natives, removal of, by sandal-wooders, 

Natives, how scattered, 359, 386. 
Navigators' Islands, 95, 270. 
Necks trodden, 336. 
Necklaces, 80. 
Necromancy, 336. 
Netting needles, 272. 
Neutrality of missionaries in war, 305. 
New Caledonia, 423. 
Nineveh, 78. 
Nisbet, Eev. H., 1—68, 111, 132, 171, 

Niua, New Hebrides, 381, 443, 483. 
Niue, or Savage Island, 465, 517. 
No cure, no pay, 401. 
Nose ornaments, 79, 337. 
Noses bitten off, 286, 336. 
Numerals at Tanna, 84. 


Oaths, 118. 

Offerings to the gods, 174, 200, 241, 

260, 425. 
Opposition from the heathen, 18, 26. 
Orators, 86, 288, 348. 
Ornaments, 205, 332, 393. 

Paddles, 268. 
Painted natives, 5, 77. 
Pandean pipe, 337. 
Papuan dialects, 83. 
Paradise of the heathen, 237. 
Parental care, 147. 
Parental neglect, 148, 179. 
Parliamentary meetings, 287. 
Paton, Eev. J. a., 475, 480. 
Patriarchal government, 280. 
Peace, branches a sign of, 314. 
Penalties, various, 286. 
Persecution, 24. 
Phylacteries, 338. 
Pigeon- catching, 213. 

N N 



Pillars of a temple of the gods, 338. 
Pillows, 216, 259, 338. 
Plot to kill tlie missionaries, 33. 
Political affairs of the Tannese, 84. 
Political interference of chiefs, 116. 
Polygamy, 86, 189, 282, 401, 411, 424, 

469, 495. 
Poor-laws, 264. 
Population, 220, 521. 
Port Resolution, Tanna, 70. 
Poverty, 265. 

PoweU, Rev. T., 431, 443, 451, 455. 
Pratt, Rev. George, 97, 171, 357, 521. 
Prayer, 35, 48, 61. 

Prayer to the gods, 85, 174, 200, 427. 
Preaching, 149, 155. 
Presbyterians and Congregationalists, 

Presents, 55, 60, 115, 329, 337, 339. 
Press, mission, 167, 533. 
Priests, 19, 239, 241, 427, 463, 529. 
Prisoners in war, 301. 
Prodigal, a wandering, 396. 
Property, common interest in, 264. 


Rain-makers, etc., 428, 496. 

Rank, marks of, 281, 393. 

Reefs, 96. 

Relics of the departed, 338, 400, 463. 

Religion of the Samoans, 238. 

Religious affairs, interference of the 

chiefs in, 106, 161. 
Religious pretenders, 103, 105, 109. 
Religious Tract Society of London, 136, 

Rending garments, 340. 
Revenge, 312. 
Revision committee, 168. 
Rib of Adam, 340, 526. 
Riddles, 215, 340. 
Roden, Earl of, 347, 527. 
Rod of office, 341. 
Roggewem's expedition, 97. 
Rotumah, island of, 357, 430. 
Runaway sailors, 103 — 105. 

Sabbath, unwillingness to observe, 13. 
Sabbath at Malua, 131. 
Sacred men, disease-makers, etc., 89. 
Safata, labours at, 112. 
Salutations, 342. 
Samoa, 95, 98, 109, 270. 
Samoan Bible, with references, 171. 
Samoan grammar and vocabulary, 97. 
Sandal-wood traders, 386, 394, 440, 

442, 444, 456, 509. 
Sandwich Island, New Hebrides, 387, 

397, 497. 
Savage Island, 465, 517. 
Savaii, a Samoan group, 95. 
School at Tanna, etc., 12, 113, 156, 164, 

Scripture illustrations in the Pacific, 

191, 303, 310. 
Scripture translations, 167 — 172. 
Scriptures sold to the natives, 170. 
Self-supporting scheme of the Mission 

Seminary, 127, etc. 
Selwyn, Bishop, 441. 
Seminary, Samoan Mission, 124, 306. 
Servants, domestic, 115. 
Shame, cause of, 313. 
Shell ornaments and trumpets, 269. 
Ships, native ideas of, 529. 
Sick, deceived by the disease-makers, 

19, 90. 
Sick, treatment of, 90, 225, 530. 
" Sides of the pit," illustration of, 

Signs, 344. 
Sin, 150, 345. 
Singing, 345. 

Sister protected by her brother, 345. 
Sitting, a mark of respect, 342. 
Skies, intercourse with, 246. 
Skulls set up in plantations, 519. 
Slatyer, Rev. W., 144. 
Slings and slingers, 346. 
Small-pox, 114. 
Smelling, custom of, 346. 
Sneezing, 347. 
Songs, 269. 



Spear and arrow heads, 81. 

Spears, 212, 276, 301, 348. 

Spear- thrower, 81. 

Spirit, the Holy, his work in conver- 
sion, 142. 

Spirit- worship of heathenism unpopular, 

Spirits, 88, 349, 371, 394, 400, 428, 
469, 496, 530. 

Sports, 213. 

Staff of Elisha, 349. 

Stair, Rev. J. B., 170. 

Stallworthy, Eev. G., 132. 

Stars, 531. 

Stealing, 6. 

Stipend of a Samoan minister, 161, 

Stone axes, 425. 

Stones, sacred, 346, 526. 

Strangling of widows, 93, 372, 433. 

Students in Mission Seminary, 129— 

Sugar-cane plantations, 519. 

Suicide, 330. 

Sulphur and sulphurous vapours, 71, 
72, 402. 

Summary of progress in Western Poly- 
nesia, 533. 

Sunday-school Union of London, 136. 

Sun standing still, 248. 

Sun-stroke, 351. 

Superstitious fear, 292. 

Support of native teachers, 158 — 163. 

Surgery, 224. 


Taboo, varieties of, 294. 

Tanna and the Tannese, 69. 

Tanna, ]S T ew Hebrides, 5, 373, 438, 

441, 480. 
Tatooing, 181—183, 349. 
Teachers, native, 110, 121, 124, 139, 

143, 152, 158, 163, 401, 402, 412. 
Teachers, native, massacre of, 363, 

446, 483. 
Teeth charms, 425. 
Teetotallers, 424, 462. 

Telegraphs of fire and smoke, 326. 
Temples, 240, 527. 
Thatch, 257. 
Thieves, 6, 152. 
" Thompson, Captain, 509. 
Thorington, Wm, of Chatham, 439. 
Throwing the spear, 212. 
Thunder, 296. 
Tidman, Rev. Dr., 112. 
Titles of chiefs, 282. 
Toasts, probable origin of, 394. 
Tobacco, 123, 435. 
Toka, Loyalty Islands, 503. 
Tools, edge, 425. 
Touching the sick, 351. 
Trading of missionaries forbidden, 163. 
Translation of the Scriptures, 167 — 172, 

Trumpets, 352. 
Turpie, Mr. R., 513. 
Tutuila, Samoan group, 95. 
Twins, 179. 


Uea, Britannia Islands, 510. 
Unburied, the, 233. 
Uncircumcised, 352. 
Union group, 525. 
Upolu, Samoan group, 95. 


Vaccination, 114, 223. 

Tate, New Hebrides, 387, 393, 445, 

Yavau, Friendly Islands, visit to, 430. 
Village gods, 240. 
Villages, 286, 425. 

Vocabulary of the Samoan dialect, 97. 
Volcano at Tanna, 72, 76, 379. 
Vows, 352. 
Voyage in 1845, 352. 
Voyage in 1848, 431. 
Voyage in 1859, 473. 


Wailing over the dead, 17, 227, 394. 
Wars, 39, 298, 393. 



Water of life, etc., 353. 

Wave-offerings, 241. 

Weapons, 300, 469. 

Wesleyan Missionary Society, 358, 430. 

Western Polynesia, summary of labours 

in, 533. 
Whales' teeth necklace, 80. 
Whiskers, 424. 
White men, notices respecting, 103, 

394, 442, 456, 464, 509. 
White men in distress, 374, 380. 
Wide Bay, Lifu, 507. 

Widows, 93, 190, 353, 372, 433, 495. 
Williams, Captain W. H., 475—523. 
Williams, Mr. Consul, 509. 
Williams, Eev. J., at Savage Island, 470. 
Williams, Eev. J., at Samoa, 99. 
Williams, Eev. J., massacre of, 2, 486. 
Witchcraft, 425, 462, 495. 
Wives of a chief strangled, 93. 
Worms, man's origin in, 354. 
Worship of the gods, 85, 174, 200, 360, 

400, 469. 
Wrestling, 212. 


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DU Turner, George 

510 Nineteen ye^rs in 

T94 Polynesia 




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